Global cryptocurrency firm BitX announced Tuesday it has raised $4 million in a Series A round led by the Naspers Group through its payments subsidiary, PayU. Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, an existing investor, also participated in the round.
Based in Singapore, BitX offers highly secure mobile wallets, institutional quality exchanges, and various APIs for merchant and other business integration. The company has grown quickly within the past year and boasts the largest emerging market footprint of any digital currency company, with the platform available to more than half a billion consumers in key markets in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore) and Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa).
“We’ve been seeing very strong growth across the markets we operate in, and this investment will allow us to both accelerate this growth and extend our footprint to more markets,” said BitX co-founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel in a press release. “In Naspers we have a truly global partner with unrivalled capabilities in high growth markets, and we’re very excited to work together in building out our global platform.”
Swanepoel added in the release that “given our unique and competitive cost structure this funding round represents a significant capital injection to help expand our business. This, combined with our access to world-class engineering and business talent across our operational centres, our deep local knowledge and relationships in the markets we operate in, and our mobile-first approach, gives us a strong competitive advantage as we continue to build out our global platform.”
Found in 1915, Naspers is a broad-based multinational Internet and media group, providing services in more than 130 nations. Its chief operations are in e-commerce, video-entertainment, and print media, with minority investments in listed Internet companies Mail.ru and Tencent.
PayU Chief Product Officer James Caviness will join the BitX board of directors.
“We see a bright future for cryptocurrency across a number of industry verticals, and with BitX’s strong management team and solid track record, look forward to leveraging Naspers’ global platform and local knowledge to help them capitalise on these opportunities,” said Caviness in the release.
In an article about the Series A round, Ventureburn said the new capital follows a raise of $800,000 by BitX from a group of global investors late last year.
The news outlet reported that BitX, which has offices in Jakarta and Cape Town, was instrumental in integrating Bitcoin payments with South African online payments platform PayFast. The move allowed 30,000 merchants to accept Bitcoin, including South Africa’s largest online shop Takealot, of which Naspers owns 46.5 percent.
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