BitPesa, a Kenya-based pan-African universal payment and Bitcoin trading platform, has raised US$2.5 million from multiple investors in a Series A funding round.
Launched in 2013, BitPesa seeks to give the pan-African continent unfettered access to the benefits of the global economy. It allows individuals and businesses all over the world to quickly and securely send payments to and from Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.
It accepts bitcoin and exchanges it for local African currencies, which are then deposited into African bank accounts or mobile money wallets. Also, it sells bitcoin in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda for those users who do not have access to other bitcoin exchanges.
The startup will use this fresh funds to further expand its services across Southern and West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, its largest market, as well as in the UK and Europe.
“We are well on our way to achieving our goal of becoming the largest licensed payment company in the UK, Europe and Africa that offers real-time settlement at wholesale FX rates to frontier and emerging markets, with best in class compliance and customer service,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO of BitPesa.
Leading the investment round is Draper VC with new investor, Greycroft Partners, and Blockchain Capital, BnkToTheFuture, Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital Future\Perfect Ventures and Zephyr Acorn participating.
“It takes a locally-based team to work in the evolving landscape of frontier market financial services, and BitPesa’s approach to investing in teams, infrastructure, and compliance from Lagos to London gives them a strong advantage,” Draper said.
This funding round brings to about US$6 million the total amount of funds the startup has raised – it raised funds last year from BitFury’s investment arm BitFury Capital, and from Pantera Capital in 2015.