Brazil-based 2TM Group is expanding into Europe with the acquisition of Lisbon-based exchange CriptoLoja, the company announced on Jan. 12.
The acquisition, pending regulatory approval from Portugal's central bank, will give 2TM a controlling stake in CriptoLoja. 2TM is the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin, which bills itself as the largest crypto exchange in Latin America.
In June, CriptoLoja became the first crypto exchange to get a “virtual asset service provider” operating license from Portugal’s central bank, Banco de Portugal. Crypto ATM company Mind the Coin also received a license at that time.
According to a press release, 2TM will first operate over-the-counter (OTC) trading in Europe, and then “intends to take the entire MercadoBitcoin.com platform to retail and institutional investors.”
The move into Portugal comes shortly after 2TM raised $50.3 million in a second closing for its Series B funding round in November, which the company had said would focus on growing into more Latin America markets. The unicorn previously raised $200 million from the SoftBank Latin America Fund in July.
According to 2TM Group CEO Roberto Dagnoni, the company is building on the momentum from its Series A and B funding rounds to expand internationally. He sees Portugal as an advantageous market for reasons including its shared language with Brazil and regulated environment.
“In addition to an enhanced financial opportunity, the investment provides us with outstanding technology required to compete globally,” Dagnoni said in a press release.“Portugal is a strategic market for us because it requires a specific license, is becoming an important hub for crypto in Europe and opens a gateway into the larger European market.”