Mexico-based cryptocurrency exchange site Bitso made an announcement stating that it has raised $250 million which places the company’s valuation at a whopping $2.2 billion. Thanks to this funding, Bitso is now one of the biggest fintech companies and the first cryptocurrency company to hit a billion valuation in all of Latin America.
This round of funding was led by investment firms Tiger Global and Coatue Management and was completed in a few months.
What is Bitso?
Based in Mexico City, Bitso was founded in 2014 and offers its more than 2 million customers multiple cryptocurrencies and services across Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. The company has two main services: an app where investors can keep track of their cryptos and buy and sell them, as well as Bitso Alpha which is a professional-grade trading platform.
First crypto unicorn in Latin America 🤩
— Fulvia 🍵 (@fulviamorales) May 5, 2021
Bitso is also well known for its remittance practices where the company processed about $1.2 billion in remittances, about 2.5% to 3% of the total amount between the United States and Mexico according to co-founder and CEO Daniel Vogel.
High in Demand
Demand is high for cryptocurrency assets and other related financial products in Latin America. Daniel Vogel said “The growth of the crypto ecosystem… has been remarkable. It took Bitso six years to get its first million clients. Now — less than 10 months later — we have reached the 2 million mark.”
— TechBullion (@TechBullion) August 5, 2020
As a side note, several Latin American crypto startups have been quite successful including Valiu, a Colombia-based startup that raised $5.25 million in an effort to expand their remittance program.
Bitso has said that it plans to use this money to expand its capabilities and what products it offers, especially in other Latin American countries. In a discussion with Tech Crunch, Vogel said “We see a significant amount of traditional financial infrastructure in the region being replaced by crypto [and] We plan to use this funding to continue that trend….”
Bitso currently has more than 300 employees, but the company’s growth in Brazil, in particular, is going up tremendously with Vogel hoping to triple the number of hires in that company by the end of the year.
Still on the Smaller Side
Bitso, as a firm, is still small relative to the big players in the United States like Coinbase as its volume topped $860 million last month. While the cryptocurrency market will undoubtedly grow, Vogel wants to move beyond just trading cryptocurrency and wants to make Bitso into a platform for general financial services for the region.
— Bitso (@Bitso) May 5, 2021
With regard to his plans, he said “We want to bring a set of products that is much broader than crypto…In Argentina, we have thousands of customers that work for companies all over the world and they get paid in stablecoins.”
In this current round of funding, three other investment firms helped out: Paradigm, BOND, and Valor Capital. Paradigm’s co-founder Matt Huang said “We are excited to back Bitso… for furthering access to cryptocurrency and financial freedom in Latin America.