Vienna-based cryptocurrency broker Bitpanda has closed its third major private financing round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.
Raising $263 million and drawing in new investments from British billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard and REDO Ventures, the company is now valued at $4.1 billion. That’s three times its last valuation of $1.2 billion for its $170-million raise in March of this year.
Bitpanda has now raised close to $500 million through various private financing rounds, counting three-time backer Valar Ventures alongside repeat investors that include LeadBlock Partners and Jump Capital. Since 2014, the company’s offerings have centered on cryptocurrency and precious metals brokerage. The platform is currently trialing a stock trading service that would be live 24/7.
In an interview with CNBC, Bitpanda co-founder and co-CEO Eric Demuth said that the stock offering would likely be ready by the end of this year. Having cemented its popularity among crypto users, the new service would bring the platform onto the same terrain as highly successful stock trading apps such as Robinhood, whose profile — as well as trading volumes and, arguably, notoriety — shot up during the GameStop saga earlier this year.
One distinguishing feature of Bitpanda is its profitability. Demuth has said the company has been profitable for the past five years and, while not disclosing its exact annual revenues to reporters, is ostensibly on track to increase them sevenfold in 2021. With over 3 million users at present, still significantly lower than rivals Robinhood and Revolut, that sets it apart from both. The latter’s initial public offering (IPO) filing revealed a $1.4-billion quarterly loss early this year, and Revolut lost over $230 million in 2020 — up 57% from 2019.
In its March 2021 raise, Bitpanda had sealed investment from Robinhood-backer DST Global, which has not, at the time of writing, been publicly confirmed as a participant in this latest round.
Bitpanda operates solely in Europe, with plans to expand to new markets such as France, Spain, Italy and Portugal using the new funding. The company does not have imminent plans to go public, but Demuth has spoken positively of Wise’s recent direct listing on the London Stock Exchange, which followed a listing method first used by Spotify on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018. He has ruled out an IPO via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company — the route used by stablecoin issuer Circle for its NYSE public listing later this year.