January 22, 2015
Coinbase has raised $75 million in a funding round which involved investors such as DFJ, USAA Bank, NYSE, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital. This is the largest funding round yet for a bitcoin company and comes at a time when the cryptocurrency itself is facing very low trading rates. The participation of a financial institution like NYSE in this funding round shows that there is still hope for Bitcoin in the financial world. Former CEOs of Citigroup and Thomson Reuters have also invested in Coinbase.
A majority of transactions in the Coinbase network are oriented towards day-trading and investment. The share of transactions oriented towards purchase of goods and services is in a growing phase. The non-trading transaction volume in the Coinbase network has tripled over the past year, as cited by CEO Brian Armstrong to TechCrunch. This can be attributed to growing number of merchants adopting Bitcoin such as Expedia and Intuit. Currently, there are around a dozen merchants doing $1 billion in annual transactions while accepting the virtual currency.
The fresh round of funds will be utilized towards building mobile capabilities and increase Coinbase’s mobile presence. Coinbase is currently available in 19 countries and the company is planning to expand to raise this figure to 30 by the end of this year. The company is also focused at establishing its developer platform. Coinbase’s API is already popular providing services the peer-to-peer lending service called BTCJam.
Coinbase has witnessed a rapid growth in its consumer wallet accounts from 600,000 to 2.1 million in 2014. The company also boasts of a merchant base of 38,000 users. Coinbase has also collaborated with companies such as Braintree and Stripe for payments integration. The company has collected over $105 million in venture capital so far.
Bitcoin is still far from mainstream adoption but industry experts believe there is still hope. Marc Andreessen had this to say on Twitter:
23/The price of BTC has very little to do with the level of creativity of thinking that's going into new Bitcoin apps, or their usefulness.
— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) January 5, 2015