While still not officially announced, the Atlanta-based Bitcoin transaction processor, BitPay, has managed to secure $US 30 million on a $US 160 million valuation in a financing round led by venture capital group, Index Ventures along with the participation of Richard Branson and the co-founder of Yahoo Inc., Jerry Yang.
The official announcement of the biggest venture-capital investment in digital-currency to date is expected Tuesday. The given amount surpasses the $US 26 million recently raised by Xapo or the $US 25 million series B funding raised by VC firms, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital, for San Francisco-based Bitcoin wallet startup, Coinbase.
Richard Branson is no stranger to Bitcoin as his Virgin Galactic company has announced it will accept Bitcoin as payment for its commercial space flights a few months ago. Moreover, Branson’s participation in the given financing round will certainly downplay any accusations from people labeling Branson’s support of Bitcoin as a simple PR stunt.
But not only can this injection be viewed as another milestone for BitPay, which has processed over $US 100 million in transactions in the past year and secured backing from “Asia’s richest man,” but it’s also indicative that the Bitcoin ecosystem is gaining steam towards maturation.
Indeed, we are seeing the creation of venture capital funds and many VC firms entering the crypto-space despite legal and regulatory setbacks, the Mt. Gox collapse, hacking attempts, and incessant warnings of government crackdowns.
More and more VC’s are putting a portion of their chips on Bitcoin as the potential windfall is becoming harder to resist especially if the nascent technology is to enter the mainstream and do to money what the internet did to communication as hailed by many Bitcoin-enthusiasts.
BitPay has secured over 30,000 merchants across the globe, processing payments for notable companies such as Zynga, Tesla, Virgin Galactic