Bitwala: €15 million cash injection for Berlin crypto start-up
New products should attract more users across Europe. In return, the Berlin cryptobank Bitwala will receive a million euro investment from Earlybird and other venture capitalists.
The Berlin crypto-bank Bitwala has recently received financing of over 15 million euros, as Gründerszene reported on Saturday. This was largely led by existing investors such as Earlybird. The venture capital firms Global Brain and Coparion were also involved. Coparion had already joined a Bitcoin System financing round just over a year ago, in which Bitwala collected 13 million euros. The money will be used to increase the number of users and to launch new products
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According to the Berliners, they currently have 150,000 customers in 32 countries, holding Bitcoins with a total value of €60 million. They use the service to invest in crypto-currencies themselves, to hold their assets or even to invest the assets. Deposits of up to €100,000 are secured with the German crypto-bank. For this purpose, the Berlin-based start-up is working with the bank-as-a-service provider Solarisbank.
Beyond the borders in the German-speaking world, the crypto stock exchange Bitpanda from Vienna has recently concluded a financing round for 52 million dollars with the top venture capitalists Hedosophia and Paypal founder Peter Thiels Valar. The company valuation is currently expected to be over 300 million euros. Although Bitwala ranks well behind with 64 million euros, it is one of the leading financial crypto providers nationwide.
Bitwala and Co come at the right time
At present, such services are in great demand, also because of the explosive course developments. Bitcoin has stabilised above USD 19,000 after yesterday’s all-time high. Observers assume, however, that private investors will increasingly turn to the topic again in the future. Not least because institutional investors have recently announced more frequently that they are invested in crypto.
As big as N26?
As Benjamin Jones recently made public to the Handelsblatt, the crypto-financial service provider wants to become „at least as big as N26“. To achieve this, the company had only recently poached Chief Product Officer Kristina Walcker-Mayer from the online bank. In addition, both Bitwala and N26 share a similar, even partly identical, investor audience. In order to realistically become as big as the smartphone bank, the Berliners would have to try to convince more investors in the future, who, as an external party, would be able to give a current rating. So far, the financing has largely been provided by existing investors.
Since 2018 officially a crypto-bank
Bitwala was founded in 2015 by Jan Goslicki, Benjamin Jones and Jörg von Minckwitz and started as a crypto-exchange platform. In 2018, the crypto-bank had to change its business model, as its partner company Wavecrest had not received a licence from Visa. Bitwala then switched its product to its own bank account on a block chain basis with crypto-wallet. The account is now operated through the banking-as-a-service provider Solarisbank.