By Duncan Miley for Silicon Angle,
Bitcoin startup BitX has raised an undisclosed new round of funding from South East Asia investment fund Venturra Capital.
“It’s a substantial amount and what we believe to be the first substantial investment from a Southeast Asian VC into a Bitcoin company,” BitX Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder Marcus Swanepoel told Tech In Asia.
Founded in 2013, BitX provides a variety of Bitcoin-related services, including Bitcoin wallets, a Bitcoin exchange and Bitcoin business integration.
The company aims to make “money frictionless and universally accessible by building an open, intelligent global platform that leverages the most optimal technologies available, including Bitcoin and the Blockchain.”
Based in the Southeast Asian financial hub of Singapore, with offices in Cape Town, South Africa, and Jakarta, Indonesia, the company currently offers a mixture of services in various countries. On top of the global provision of both wallets and their API, BitX offers additional services in Indonesia (instant buy and sell), Kenya, Malaysia and South Africa (buy and sell and exchange) and Nigeria (exchange).
“BitX has an exceptional team that combines deep technical expertise and commercial acumen,” Venturra Capital Co-founder and Managing Partner Stefan Jung said in a separate statement (pdf). “They have proven they can build innovative products and strong traction in a rapidly emerging industry.”
A vote for Southeast Asia
There has been plenty of money around for Western Bitcoin and Blockchain startups in 2015, but while there have been smaller players emerging in markets throughout Southeast Asia, there has been little in the way of significant investment in them, particularly from locally based venture capital firms.
Millions of people in the region, in particular in the Philippines and Myanmar (Burma), do not have access to traditional financial services, and yet many of them have access to smartphones and Bitcoin services like those provided by BitX, and others have the potential to fill a hole in markets where there are currently no alternatives.
Prior to the new round, BitX had raised $8.8 million from investors, including Naspers Group (through PayU), Digital Currency Group and Carol L. Realini.
The company said it would use the new funding to speed up a number of activities it started with its previous round, including recruitment, product development and entering new markets.