Bitcoin Payments Company Bitnet Raises $14MM Funding Round

Not even a year old, San Francisco Bitcoin payment processing platform Bitnet announced on October 20th that it had closed a Series A funding round worth US$14 million.

The funding round was led by Highland Capital Partners, a global venture capital firm whose investments include Malwarebytes and fashion startup Rent The Runway. Existing investors also participated in the funding round, one of which is Japanese retail giant Rakuten, whose parent company bought Viber earlier this year for US$900 million.

Rakuten’s reported revenue in 2012 came to US$4.6 billion. “We listened to huge retailers,” Bitnet’s CEO and co-founder, John McDonnell, said in a statement, adding:

“A lot of these bigger companies have looked at existing solutions and are still on the sidelines. With Bitnet, we’re building the integrations, systems and technologies that bigger companies need in order to accept Bitcoin. Being scalable and integrating with big, existing payment systems is what’s important to them. Uptime is important. Bitnet removes the risk of accepting Bitcoin, allowing merchants to take payments with zero liability. Bitcoin is like cash, and it’s developed for the Internet. Merchants understand that, and they’re very excited.”

Bitnet’s core team helped build CyberSource, a payments gateway that Visa bought in 2010 for US$2 billion. Since then, the company’s founders and senior executives appear to have embraced cryptocurrencies as an evolution i