Vienna, Austria-based fintech startup, Bitpanda, which provides an exchange platform for digital assets such as cryptocurrency, has raised $170M (approx €142.56M) in its Series B round of funding. The round has given the startup a ‘unicorn’ status as it is now valued at $1.2B (approx €1B) – also becomes Austria’s first unicorn.
Investors in this round
The round is led by Peter Thiel-backed Valar Ventures, with participation from unnamed partners from DST Global (Yuri Milner’s fund). In addition, new investor DST also participated in this round.
The raised capital will help the company to expand its services in other categories and not just in cryptocurrency. According to Eric Demuth, “the company’s focus up to now has been primarily on building a platform to target investors in Europe, a largely untapped market, as it happens. In the EU, we probably have less than 10 per cent of the population owning stocks. Our growth goes hand in hand with that.”
Currently, the platform is live in Austria, France, Spain, Turkey, Italy, and Poland. In December 2020, the company announced that it established a tech innovation hub in Krakow, Poland, with the objective of doubling the workforce, and with this round of funding, it plans to expand to markets including Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris, and Berlin.
The company tells TC, that “New investment options to back ETFs (Exchange-traded Fund) and “fractional” trades, which will let people invest small amounts of money in whichever stocks they would like to back, are due to be added in April.”
What services does Bitpanda provide?
Bitpanda was founded in 2014 by Eric Demuth, Paul Klanschek, and Christian Trummer. The platform removes complicated financial barriers by harnessing the innovative power of digitised assets and blockchain technology. It also offers low fees, 24/7 trading, and real-time settlements. In simple terms, the platform wants to make it easier for everyone to start investing and to take ownership of their financial future.
The company’s mission is to break the barriers to investing and bring traditional financial products to the 21st century.
With a PSD2 (European regulation for electronic payment services) payment service provider license, security, and streamlined user experience, Bitpanda claims to have grown into a popular trading platform. Users can currently trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, gold, and over 20 other digital assets via its platform. Since its inception, the company has more than 2 million users worldwide and about 330 team members.
Recent growth and development
According to Paul Klanschek, “In today’s financial world everything is connected. We saw huge growth on Bitpanda after the Covid stock crash in March 2020. Crypto dropped then too, with interest high but price very low. Yet with saving accounts and other traditional, low-key ways for people to grow their money yielding nothing, it eventually led to huge interest in financial markets, with crypto being established as its own financial asset, its own category.”
Though there are a lot of platforms operating in this sector, Bitpanda’s pace of adoption could be the reason why investors invested in the company.
In September 2020, Bitpanda raised Europe’s largest Series A funding of $52M (approx. €44M) led by Valar Ventures. Speedinvest also participated in that round.
And now, investing again in Series B round, James Fitzgerald, Partner of Valar Ventures, said, “Since we joined the board last September, we have continued to be impressed with the work that Eric, Paul, and the team are doing. One of the positive changes caused by the pandemic was an increased interest in personal finance, and Bitpanda’s broad offer and commitment to demystifying investing for a new breed of retail investors means it is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the trend. With over 700,000 new users in just 6 months, we know that people want access to the platform, and we’re excited to bring Bitpanda to every investor in Europe.”
Earlier this month, Bitpanda partnered with Contis – a company that offers “zero-balance” buffer technology – to launch a new Visa debit card, “the Bitpanda Card”.