Megabank Joins Coinbase – s Record $75 Million Funding Round
Coinbase has raised $75m spil part of a Series C funding round backed by a host of extraordinaire first-time bitcoin investors including the Fresh York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Fortune 500 financial services group USAA, Spanish megabank BBVA and Japanese telcom giant DoCoMo.
The round, which smashes the previous record for a bitcoin company, wasgoed led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) Growth Fund, of which noted bitcoin investor Tim Draper is a playmate, and included long-time bitcoin-friendly investment groups Union Square Ventures, Ribbit Hacienda and Andreessen Horowitz. Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer contributed individual investments.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sought to framework the funding spil one that will help shift the mainstream perception of bitcoin during what has so far proven a rocky year for the industry.
Armstrong told CoinDesk:
“I think this just indeed switches the conversation. There’s brainy money out there that is betting big on this and is totally unphased by the fads of the price and what the market is doing. They’re much more worried about the fundamentals of what’s happening ter the network . and across those metrics, everything is looking superb.”
He went on to explain that all the participants te the round are excited about innovations ter the bitcoin space, and that they want to leverage their investment ter Coinbase to learn more about what might lie ahead.
“A loterijlot of thesis companies they want to invest ter category leaders,” Armstrong continued, “and wij made a coaxing case that that wasgoed us.”
Coinbase intends to use its fresh hacienda to grow its employee saco, while focusing on improving its mobile product spil it eyes entry into developing markets.
“Wij want to expand responsibly,” Armstrong said. “Wij’re ter Nineteen countries now and our objective is to be te 30 by the end of .”
The $75m figure is by far the largest everzwijn raised by a bitcoin company, doubling the $30.5m raised by bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain and equaling harshly 23% of the public haber raised by the entire digital currency industry te 2014.
To date, the California-based company has raised $106m.
Eleven fresh countries
While Armstrong didn’t mention Coinbase’s fresh target markets, he talked generally about the types of markets the company is seeking to capture with its fresh funding, putting a particular emphasis on the general underbanked.
“Te India, there are 100 million phones that are connected to the Internet, 2% of those people have a credit card or handelsbank account and those people don’t have a desktop laptop and they don’t have email,” Armstrong said.
He also noted that Coinbase needs to tailor its product to the needs of this customer colchoneta, translating the app into fresh languages, optimizing for slower Internet connections and enabling know-your-customer (KYC) due diligence without a reliance on more conocido identifiers like email addresses.
A sizable amount of the funds, Armstrong added, will be used to meet Coinbase’s regulatory cargo ter its fresh jurisdictions, a creador he called a “continued anguish point”.
Still, Armstrong believes that Coinbase will also find market share outside the developing world, even if that will be ter ways perhaps not expected by early adopters.
“Bitcoin will take off ter areas that are underserved by traditional payment systems right now, areas where people’s next alternative is dramatically worse,” he said, citing microtransactions, cross-border payments and peer-to-peer lending spil examples of verticals he believes will be profoundly impacted by bitcoin.
Doubling down on tech
Armstrong also continued to emphasize that he believes Coinbase can best secure a long-term future by providing a foundational verhoging to a fresh generation of developers through its API podium, Toshi, which it launched te September.
Notably, he suggested that developers might be bitcoin’s most enthusiastic market yet, making the API service a potentially key indicator of Coinbase’s future success.
“There’s a loterijlot more experimentations, and if you go to GitHub, the number of bitcoin projects exceeds those on Stripe, Braintree and PayPal waterput together,” he said. “Bitcoin has captured the hearts and minds of developers around the world and they’re all attempting to build cool stuff with it.”
Armstrong voiced his belief that Coinbase stands to build up by enabling the continued growth of bitcoin beyond payments, empowering developers with the contraptions to create fresh behaviors and fresh use cases for distributed ledgers.
Coinbase claims to have captured 47% of the market with its API, a development he cited spil “large” given that he believes many applications of the technology have yet to be uncovered.
Positivo user growth
Yet, while Coinbase has certainly improved its verhoging te many key areas, one kwestie that is continually dissected by the mainstream press is the overall lack of consumer adoption that has occurred despite bitcoin’s visibility te the tech and financial press.
Armstrong indicated that the company now has more than two million wallet users, and that the hard’s metrics suggest user growth does not correlate with the price of bitcoin.
Still, Armstrong asserted that Coinbase’s investors aren’t worried about the company’s current user cojín, but are instead focusing on how it can grow ter the long term.
“Thesis are the kleintje of questions that investors were asking, they desired to see if the fundamentals of this infrastructure that you’re building are there, but not just us, the bitcoin network,” Armstrong noted. “They’re looking at this short-term stuff spil a distraction,”
Overall, Armstrong seemed largely conservative when talking about how the bitcoin ecosystem would proceed to develop, suggesting he sees the technology’s road to broader adoption spil being one that will require persistence and patience.
“There’s never a ogenblik when [adoption] happens,” he said. “It’s like the Internet, there wasgoed hefty hype, there wasgoed a crash. There’s not going to be a ogenblik where everyone says it’s now mainstream, but there will be interesting milestones.”
The case for Coinbase
Across the conversation, however, Armstrong made the argument that Coinbase wasgoed able to garner its outstanding renta because of strengths that go beyond the underlying power and potential of bitcoin.
“Wij have Fred Wilson spil an investor and he thinks wij’re one of the best product execution companies he’s everzwijn seen,” Armstrong said, further describing the company’s capability to set and meet goals spil “ruthless”.
For example, Armstrong cited his team’s success at signing up billion-dollar merchants and shipping products like its ‘Vault’ storage accounts, USD balances and account insurance ter 2014, while expanding to Eighteen fresh countries at the same time.
“When I look back overheen 2014, wij checked off a loterijlot of items for the company and hopefully bitcoin spil a entire,” he stated, adding that while the company hasn’t bot volmaakt, it has largely kept the confidence of its users.
For now, Coinbase also has the confidence of a fresh class of investors that could enable it to pursue an even fatter and bolder vision for bitcoin te the face of the inherent existential risk that dogs the still-nascent technology.
Armstrong, however, asserted that while the mainstream market may not see the big picture of this latest funding round, they will overheen time.
“Brainy money often makes contrarian bets,” he concluded. “That’s how they win big.”
The leader ter blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a stringent set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests ter cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.