Bitcoin bitwala receives $900k in seed funding, plans to expand to Africa

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Bitcoin remittance and utility bill payment service Bitwala has raised $900,000 (800k Euros) from Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, Federal Ministry of Economics, the KfW Banking Group, Carl Zeiss, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL & Deutsche Telekom, among others for global expansion.

Speaking to CCN.LA, Bitwala CEO Jörg von Minckwitz said: “Our funds will mainly be used for technical improvements and expanding globally. We are the market leader in Europe but in our next steps we are expanding to Asia, Africa and the US. We will grow massively within the next months.”

Founded in 2012, Bitwala has been bootstrapped and has collected over 10,000 customers and secured millions of Euros in transfer volume in Africa, Asia and Europe with all its companies.

“It is not only about the amount we raised, it is also about the partners and how we work together,” said Minckwitz. “Gaining as much money as possible was never the Bitwala team’s biggest goal. Bitcoin/Blockchain technology is super hot at the moment. More and more VCs all around the world want to get their hands on Bitcoin or Blockchain applications. With that in mind, Bitwala’s main goal was to secure and maintain long-term partnerships.”

If it expands to Africa, Bitwala will either work or compete with services such as BitPesa, which was launched in Kenya but has steadily expanded across Africa with a focus on major markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

Bitwala allows its users to send money in Bitcoin but the sender receives the local currency meaning the recipient does not have to know what Bitcoin is and the sender no longer needs to care about the exchange rate. BitPesa, like Bitwala has a fixed forex rate to a currency one wants to send to reduce volatility risks.