Relai, a bitcoin investment platform focused on serving Europeans, raised $4.5 million in a new funding round.
Jeff Booth's Ego Death Capital led the round, with Lightning Ventures, Redalpine, Fulgur Ventures and others participating, Relai said Tuesday.
This was a seed extension round and brought Relai's post-money valuation to $20 million, co-founder and CEO Julian Liniger told The Block. Relai previously raised $3 million in pre-seed and seed rounds. The new round brings its total funding to date to $7.5 million.
Relai was founded in 2020 by Liniger and Adem Bilican in Switzerland and offers a bitcoin-only investment app. Despite the recent bear market, Liniger said Relai has been growing over 10% month-over-month and is looking to clock a "record" quarter in terms of volume and revenue in the first quarter of 2023.
Relai currently has around 60,000 active users across Europe and has seen over $100 million invested to date into bitcoin via its app, according to Liniger. The platform plans to launch several new features this year, including zero-fee trading (in Q2), a white-label product that will let other fintechs offer fiat-to-bitcoin trading (in Q3) and Lightning Network support (in Q4), according to Liniger.
To that end, Relai also plans to expand its current team of 20 people to around 25 this year, said Liniger.
Earlier this year, Relai also launched a new business operation that allows small and medium-sized businesses to add bitcoin to their balance sheet. "A handful of first pilot customers" have bought bitcoin on their balance sheets via Relai Business, Liniger said, without disclosing names. There are "dozens" of more enterprises interested in adding bitcoin to their balance sheet, Liniger added.
Relai plans to stay a bitcoin-only platform. Liniger said the world's first and largest cryptocurrency "is the only and best savings technology in the crypto market and the rest of the coins/tokens are mainly for startup and speculative trading."
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