Bitcoin, the popular virtual currency, is gaining traction in global markets as a new form of currency. An array of merchants supports Bitcoin including retailers, e-commerce sites, hotels, restaurants and many more. We already wrote about Governments and financial bodies who legally approve Bitcoin and are helping it gain momentum. Investment firms are also looking at the Bitcoin opportunity from a wider perspective. Since day one of this month itself, the Bitcoin Industry witnessed a number of investments:
Blockchain raises $30 Mn
The Bitcoin wallet and data analytics provider raised this large amount in a single funding round. This is the biggest single funding round for a digital currency firm yet. Investors include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Wicklow Capital, Virgin Group and Mosaic Ventures. The company intends to use the funds to ramp up its marketing efforts. The wallet service boasts of 2.3 Mn active users making it the most widely used Bitcoin wallet service. Blockchain is also looking to expanding outside the U.S. in developing and emerging markets.
Bitnet raises $14 Mn
The Bicoin payment processing platform provider recently closed a Series A funding round worth $14 Mn. Prominent investors in the company include Highland Capital Partners and Rakuten. The company is hardly a year old and has already received a large amount in funding. Recently, Bitnet partnered with Acromobile Payments to fully integrate Bitcoin into the latter’s payments platform. Bitnet’s core team had also helped develop CyberSource, a payments gateway that Visa bought for $2 Bn back in 2010.
Coinplug raises $2.5 Mn
The South Korea based company raised this amount in a Series A funding deal. The company has raised $3.3 Mn so far. Investors include Bitcoin venture capitalist Tim Draper, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Bokwang Investment Corp, Capstone Partners and DSC Investment. The company intends to use the funds to develop a new services platform combining Bitcoin and online content, expand Korea’s bitcoin user base and install more bitcoin ATMs which have been developed by the company.
AlphaPoint raises $1.35 Mn
The company intends to use the recent funding to expand its line up of digital currency exchanges and bring new products to international markets. Investors in the firm include Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Robin Hood Ventures and notable angel investors like Scott Becker and Gabriel Weinberg. The company is seeking to meet the rising demands by digital currency exchanges who wish to scale up their operations. The company has already built exchange and trading platforms for finance and online advertising spaces. It now has around a dozen clients globally. The AlphaPoint Exchange Platform is capable of processing 1 million digital currency transactions per second.
Coinapult raises $775k
The Panama-based Bitcoin wallet service provider raised funds from notable investors like Roger Ver and investment firms like Bitcoin Opportunity Corp and FirstMark Capital. The company recently announced a bitcoin price volatility solution dubbed as LOCKS. LOCKS would allow Coinapult customers outside the U.S. to peg the value of bitcoin to that of gold, silver, U.S. dollars or any other asset. Coinapult also announced a partnership with online payment processor Payza that would allow customers across 190 countries to gain access to LOCKS.
BitFlyer raises $236k
The Japanese bitcoin exchange raised funds from New York based Bitcoin Opportunity Corp. to fuel its overseas expansion. BitFlyer currently allows anyone with a Japanese account to buy and sell bitcoins. The company is looking at Singapore as a likely first target for its expansion. Japan is an ideal market when it comes to collaboration between bitcoin operators and regulators. BitFlyer aims to fill the market position vacated by Mt Gox, which was once the largest Bitcoin trading platform.