January’s Investment in Bitcoin and Blockchain Startups Exceeds $42 Million

Overall amount of declared investment in bitcoin and blockchain startups comprised $42,63 million in January 2017, most of which accrues to blockchain infrastructure provider BitBury. 

BitFury: $30 million

Phgyfbmf_400x400In late January, BitFury and Credit China Fintech announced that the latter would invest $30 million in BitFury’s stocks, and the companies would establish a joint venture for the Chinese market.

While the official press release generally muses on blockchain’s general advantages in transferring values, and integration of the technology in Credit China Fintech’s services, CNBC claims that the joint venture will engage in selling BitFury’s mining equipment in China. Therefore, it might mean direct competition with BitMain Technologies that currently dominates China’s market.

Notably, the deal makes BitFury one of the most funded companies in blockchain industry. According to Crunchbase, overall investment in the company has now reached $90 million.

Blockstack: $4 million

rVwRm8gZBlockstack, which is engaged in developing blockchain-based decentralized internet, has successfully closed yet another investment round with $4 million. The list of investors includes Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, Naval Ravikant, Digital Currency Group, Compound, Version One, Kal Vepuri and Rising Tide.

Now Blockstack intends to develop a new browser and a platform for app development enabling usage of decentralized internet and its applications. The team also intends to hire six more developers to accelerate the processes.

Bitpesa: $2.5 million

BitPesaLogoPayments processor Bitpesa, known for working in the promising African market, has raised $2.5 million, which it intends to spend on expanding its business, mostly in Nigeria. The list of investors includes Greycroft Partners, Blockchain Capital, BnkToTheFuture, Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital Future/Perfect Ventures and Zephyr Acorn. It’s not the first time for Bitpesa: last year the company received funds from BitFury Group. The amount of the deal, however, wasn’t disclosed back then.

Bitstamp: $2.35 million

6472721a4181e2a560e81dc20586b824_400x400Digital assets exchange Bitstamp launched a crowdfunding campaign at BnkToTheFuture last December. Initially, it intended to raise €571,374 (and reached the goal 21 days before the campaign’s expiration date.) By the end of January’s first week, the raised amount exceeded €1.3 million, and reached €2.22 million ($2.35 million) in the end.

CEO and co-founder of Bitstamp Nejc Kodrič stated back then that the raised funds will allow the company to pay more attention to new markets, and to add new trading pairs. The exchange kept its word pretty soon by offering XRP trades before the end of the month.

BitPagos: $1.9 million

d035be68dd9e7622062878ec436b7a5f_400x400The first declared investment of 2017 was the one in Argentina’s BitPagos by China-based venture fund Huiyin Blockchain Venture. Other Series A investors are Boost VC, Digital Currency Group and Draper VC. Back in 2014, their cumulative investment in BitPagos comprised $600,000.

The company has also undergone rebranding, and is now known as Ripio. Reasoning the rebranding, Juan Mendez, spokesperson for the company, stated that BitPagos was mostly focused on merchants and B2B payments, while currently the company focuses on consumers.

The raised funds will be used to expand the business development team and enter new South American markets. The company states that it currently services around 60,000 customers.

Qtum: $1 million

0EWYY6Kk_400x400Qtum is a relatively new startup from Hong Kong that unifies bitcoin’s transactions model with Ethereum’s consensus system to find its niche amongst app developers that usually face difficulties in handling one of those systems, or both of them.

In early January, the project raised $1 million from several investors, including Ethereum co-founder and Decentral CEO Anthony di Iorio; OKCoin CEO Star Xu; BitFund founder Xiaolai Li; and Fenbushi Capital partner Bo Shen.

According to the Qtum team, the technology they develop borrows cornerstone elements from Bitcoin and Ethereum while having its own blockchain and a traded token. The project intends to hold an ICO to raise up to $10 million. The startup also intends to establish partnership with PwC Asia so that the latter would audit the project and maintain its financial accounting.

SatoshiPay: £700,000 ($880,000)

ySjFvKeQ_400x400Born in Berlin and currently resided in London, SatoshiPay is known for its development of solution for cryptocurrency ‘nanopayments,’ which are microscopic transactions (down to 1 satoshi.) Last January, the company has already received seed investment of €360,000. This time, the investment was made by British investment company Blue Star Capital that placed SatoshiPay’s stares at AIM, an alternate investment platform incorporated in the London Stock Exchange.

According to Blue Star Capital, the deal was a part of the startup’s financing round. Once the round is closed, overall capitalization of Satoshi Pay should grow up to €6 million.

Summer 2016, SatoshiPay announced a joint project with Visa Europe to integrate its technologies in Visa’s payments infrastructure. The developers hope it would enable automatic micropayments from Visa accounts to SatoshiPay wallets.

Andrew Asmakov