Cryptocurrency startup BVNK (pronounced “bvnk”) closed a $40 million Series A funding round at a post cash valuation of $340 million. Interestingly, Tiger Global leads the round despite being mentioned in the news because they experienced $17 billion loss during this year’s technology stock sell-off.
Other investors in today’s funding round include The Raba Partnership, Avenir, Kingsway Capital, Nordstar, Concentric, Base Capital and various angel investors. BVNK signed its terms and conditions plan last month.
BVNK offers banking and payments services for crypto businesses. Companies using BVNK can accept payments in both fiat and cryptocurrencies, store hundreds of different currencies and cryptoassets, and send funds worldwide.
Before offering this product, the BVNK team worked on a consumer platform. It was a more traditional cryptocurrency exchange with a focus on emerging markets and remittances.
“Initially we launched a retail business, and now it’s a purely B2B business. We have spent the last year looking for the best talent in the crypto space. We now have 120 people at the company,” BVNK co-founder and CEO Jesse Hemson-Struthers told me.
While cryptocurrencies currently have very bad week, many companies are looking for ways to start supporting cryptocurrencies in one way or another. But it was a difficult process, as many banks around the world simply do not want to work with cryptocurrencies.
“Financial services is not meant for crypto at all,” co-founder and product director George Davis told me.
BVNK is targeting both crypto companies and curious companies such as “payment companies that are forced to accept crypto,” Davis said.
The main hook for getting new customers is banking. You can use BVNK to replace some of your traditional bank accounts. From your BVNK account, you can buy, sell, send and receive both fiat currencies such as EUR, GBP and USD, as well as cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH and USDC.
In addition, BVNK created a payment service. It is both a way to collect payments in cryptocurrencies and the ability to convert fiat to cryptocurrencies for people who want to buy crypto assets. Companies using BVNK can use this API with their customers.
In particular, the fiat ramp is quite interesting as BVNK wants to compete directly with moonpay. If you are not familiar with MoonPay, this is a popular built-in API for other products. For example, many crypto wallets embed MoonPay into their apps so that users can buy crypto assets with a debit card.
BVNK believes it can create a cheaper alternative through open banking. Instead of relying on debit cards, BVNK is asking people to log in with their bank account information and initiate an instant payment from there. Thus, BVNK saves on card processing fees.
To date, BVNK has attracted about 120 clients. “We were profitable as a business,” Hemson-Struthers told me. The company says it currently processes over $2 billion in annual payment volume.
Credit: techcrunch.com /