A Vienna-based investment platform specializing in digital assets has closed what it claims is Europe's largest Series A investment round for 2020.
Bitpanda has raised $52m in a round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Venture capital firm Speedinvest also took part alongside other unnamed backers.
A so-called "neo-broker" with more than 1.3 million customers, Bitpanda facilitates trading in cryptocurrencies, precious metals and a range of other assets through a website and app. The company plans to use the proceeds of the round to drive expansion within Europe and hire more staff, as well as to expand the range of assets it offers to its customers.
“We are a crypto platform, but we are transforming into a neo-broker,” Eric Demuth, co-chief executive of Bitpanda, told The Block.
Paul Klanschek, who is also co-CEO, said the firm plans to apply what it has learned from running a crypto exchange since 2014 to stock trading — and will take on the likes of Freetrade and Revolut.
“Most people are coming from the more classic asset classes, and are doing things more or less as they have been done for the last 50 years or so,” he added.
Thus far in 2020, Bitpanda has launched new payments and savings platforms while expanding geographically into France, Spain and Turkey.
With revenues doubling annually, the company is currently in the process of recruiting 70 new employees, which will bring its headcount to 300 by the end of 2020.
Valar Ventures’ founding partner Andrew McCormack will join Bitpanda’s board as part of the investment. McCormack said in a statement that Valar would work with Bitpanda to widen access to financial markets while building Europe’s next fintech unicorn — a privately-owned start-up with a valuation north of $1 billion.
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