Recent Bitcoin price drops have been met with the usual mixture of pessimism and staunch defense, but the physical reality looks altogether rosier – and a look at the investment scene will no doubt buoy your mood.
The past month has seen the Bitcoin economy inundated with funding announcements of up to US$60million each, indicating underlying optimism is anything but waning. From South Korea to the US, international sentiment surrounding the next generation of Bitcoin startups is coming together.
Devign Lab (Coinone)
Seoul-based Devign Lab has announced a US$200,000 initial funding injection to build South Korea’s “first web-based home trading system,” Bitcoin market Coinone and one-click payment system Coinpay. The ambitious development schedule is being supported by investment firm K Cube Ventures.
Coinone, Devign Lab’s first project, is designed to be a one-stop trading platform which will later incorporate further features to make trading as streamlined as possible. In addition, Coinpay is set to provide one-stage payment for Bitcoin purchases, allowing Coinone to compete with extant South Korean startups Korbit and Coinplug.
Coinplug is also announcing successful funding round completion. The multifaceted startup confirmed US$2.5million led by Mirae Asset Venture Management, another Seoul-based outfit, with Tim Draper also playing a part.
Coinplug intends to use funds raised to further promote Bitcoin in South Korea, CEO Richard Yun telling CoinDesk, “Most investors are Korean VCs that are interested and recognized our technology and great potential for growth, so these are very meaningful investments.”
Tim Draper is becoming an increasingly recognizable name in Cryptocurrency investment, and his latest adventure with Snapcard is allowing the startup to progress further with its mass integration plans.
Snapcard originated in 2013 offering an app which allowed Bitcoin users to make purchases anywhere. Now, following a US$1.5million investment led by Draper and Insikt Capital, a further project has been unveiled.
Snapcard’s future will incorporate a payment processing tool, allowing merchants to instantly accept Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and even Ripple payments at point of sale. The app is already available from Google Play, with iOS currently in development.
Investment facilitator SolidX eyed Draper’s moves, specifically his purchase of the US government-auctioned Silk Road stash, and decided the time was right to advocate Bitcoin.
“We’re not seeing a level of investment in Bitcoin that we would otherwise see,” CEO Dan Gallancy told Venturebeat somewhat ironically, as SolidX recently received US$3million in funding for its swaps product.
Swaps allow investors to purchase large amounts of Bitcoin, which SolidX then looks after for a fee. The company intends to use funds raised to cement its legal position and become fully compliant with regulators.
The sheer size of car sales platform Beepi’s US$60million series B investment from Foundation Capital and Sherpa Ventures alone is cause for excitement. The company’s inclusion of Bitcoin from its early stages, however, is an equally promising omen.
Beepi essentially matches used car buyers and sellers from across the US, handling the entire transaction process online. Payment methods are designed for ease of completion, with the option to pay with up to six credit cards at once – or a single Bitcoin payment. Ale Resnik, CEO and co-founder of Beepi said:
“This investment will help us to continue to make significant strides to change how Americans are buying and selling cars, the most expensive purchase many people are making.”
Finally, arguably the best known wallet provider has secured US$30million in series A funding – from some familiar names. A group of prominent investors, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Wicklow Capital, will enable Blockchain’s growth and outreach going forward. Richard Branson, already heavily invested in the Bitcoin scene, was also part of the move.
“We searched long and hard for the right investors to bring onto the team to help us scale, to advise us, and work with us to bring Bitcoin to the next 20 million people,” a press release issued Tuesday explains.
The figure seems arbitrary, but Blockchain’s success continues with more than 2.3 million consumer wallets now live.
What also speaks for itself is the total investment tally in just one month in the Bitcoin space: US$97.2million pledged to support the convincing efforts of a host of old and new entities. However, if you expected a moon-based closer, I’ll spare you.
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