Pan-African blockchain payments firm BitPesa has raised $4m in a follow-up to its Series A funding round led by Greycroft, a majority of existing shareholders and another new investor, Plug and Play joined the round.
In February this year, the firm closed a $2.5 million Series A round led by Draper VC, Greycroft Partners among others. In 2015, BitPesa closed a follow-on round of $1.1M led by Pantera Capital Management LP, Crypto Currency Partners LP, among others. By end February it had raised a total of nearly $6 million.
Scott Robinson, Vice President at Plug and Play said, “BitPesa promises to revolutionize the exchange and payment markets in Africa, disrupting monopoly incumbents and opening the fastest growing economies in the world to foreign companies. We’re very excited for the team’s vision and current execution which bolsters payment avenues throughout the region.”
With the follow-up raise, BitPesa has raised $10 million to date, and will use the new funds to continue its expansion into Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Launched in Kenya in 2013, BitPesa has offices in Lagos, London, Luxembourg and Dakar and works with dozens of bank networks and mobile money operators across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, and the DRC. Alan Patricof, founder and Managing Director of Greycroft said his fund invested in BitPesa because bitcoin and cryptocurrency will play an important role in the payments and money transfer industries and even more so in the developing world for which BitPesa is ideally positioned.
With a new office in Dakar, the Luxembourg-based firm will now have a stronger focus on French speaking Europe and francophone Africa to lower the cost and increase the speed for payment processing to and from emerging markets works for businesses using bitcoin blockchain technology.
BitPesa was the first company using bitcoin to receive an authorized payments license in the UK in 2015 from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The firm has sign up a number of partners to reduce the pain of using existing cross-border payment services in these markets.
“We keep raising because we have grown above and beyond projections,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO. “We have expanded across Africa and Europe, added a stellar roster of Fortune 100 companies as clients and are receiving growing support from regulators.”