Richard Branson, VC’s Pump $30 Million into BitPay

While stillnot officially announced, the Atlanta-based Bitcoin transaction processor,BitPay, has managed to secure $US 30 million on a $US 160 million valuation ina financing round led by venture capital group, Index Ventures along with theparticipation of Richard Branson and the co-founder of Yahoo Inc., Jerry Yang.

The officialannouncement of the biggest venture-capital investment in digital-currency todate is expected Tuesday. The given amountsurpasses the $US 26 million recently raisedby Xapo or the $US 25 million series B funding raisedby VC firms, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Ribbit Capital,for San Francisco-based Bitcoin wallet startup, Coinbase. 

RichardBranson is no stranger to Bitcoin as his Virgin Galactic company has announcedit will accept Bitcoin as payment for its commercial space flights a few monthsago. Moreover, Bransons participation in the given financinground will certainly downplay any accusationsfrom people labeling Bransons support of Bitcoin as a simple PRstunt.

But not onlycan this injection be viewed as another milestone for BitPay, which hasprocessed over $US 100 million in transactions in the past year and securedbacking from Asias richest man,but its also indicative that the Bitcoin ecosystem is gainingsteam towards maturation.

Indeed, weare seeing the creation of venture capital fundsand many VC firms entering the crypto-space despite legal and regulatorysetbacks, the Mt. Gox collapse,hacking attempts, and incessant warnings of government crackdowns.

More and moreVCs are putting a portion of their chips on Bitcoin as thepotential windfall is becoming harder to resist especially if the nascenttechnology is to enter the mainstream and do to money what the internet did tocommunication as hailed by many Bitcoin-enthusiasts.

BitPay hassecured over 30,000 merchants across the globe, processing payments for notablecompanies such as Zynga, Tesla, Virgin Galactic,the Sacramento Kings, and opening offices in Amsterdam,San Francisco, and Buenos Aires.

TonyGallippi, CEO of BitPay, stated that the money will be used to fund thecompany's expansion plans, with a special focus on emerging markets such asIndia, where BitPay joins other Bitcoin-related businesses seeking to providedigital-payment services to countries with large populations of the unbanked.


BitPay is the leading Payment ServiceProvider (PSP) specializing in e-commerce, brick-and-mortar and B2B solutionsfor virtual currencies.

Community commentary

Matthew Slater: Fastercheaper payment processing, like most technologies, will not make the world abetter place if all the efficiency gains go to large corporations. To complywith US law is to give material aid to terrorists. Any payment network thatdoes not support US state terror must be made illegal. Bitcoin will soon belongto the ruling classes because every body else is so desperate for their money.The People cannot have their own payment system and sell it to the elite at thesame time.