BitFury invests in Kenyan Bitcoin exchange BitPesa
The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
Founded in November 2013, the Nairobi-based startup pitches itself as an easy way to send money to Africa, although it primarily has an East African focus, offering exchange services in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The company accepts Bitcoin and exchanges it for local African currencies, which are then deposited into an African bank account or into mobile money wallets, while also selling Bitcoin in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, for those users who do not have access to other Bitcoin exchanges.
BitPesa is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Authorized Payment Institution, which according to the company means that it is a more trusted solution than using informal brokers or cash agents, which are typically used for financial payments in East Africa.
“Our mission is to make global transacting easier, especially for those who continue to face obstacles to financial growth,” BitFury Chief Executive Officer Valery Vavilov said in a statement (pdf). “A secure, transparent and trusted form of exchange is being made possible by BitPesa, and our investment will allow us to work together to leverage the innovative power of the Bitcoin Blockchain for the benefit of the entire pan-African continent.”
As we wrote when BitPesa took its last round back in February 2015:
Africa presents a serious challenge for startups with large parts of it lacking electricity, let alone internet access, and if it’s argued knowledge of Bitcoin isn’t high in the West, its closer to non-existent in Africa.
A Bitcoin startup in Africa, though, provides a lot of opportunities, particularly when it comes with international money transfers. With many locals not even having access to banking, a service such as BitPesa has the potential of providing a solution to a very tangible problem.
Since that time BitPesa has grown to cover even more countries as well as continuing to expand its services, and while it isn’t going to radically change the money transfer process in East Africa tomorrow, it’s growth certainly sees it well placed going forward.
Excluding the new undisclosed investment from BitFury, BitPesa has raised $1.7 million from Pantera Capital, Crypto Currency Partners, Stephens Investment Management, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Future/Perfect Ventures, and Blockchain Capital; of note Blockchain Capital is also an investor in BitFury.
Image credit: Bitpesa
Since you’re here …
Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!
Support our mission: >>>>>> SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>> to our YouTube channel.
… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.