Brave Raises $4.5 Million to Fuel Growth of Ad-Blocking Browser
"Brave Software announced Monday that it has raised $4.5 million to help grow its ad-blocking, privacy-centric web browser, which aims to nullify many of the ad targeting and tracking techniques now commonplace in online advertising.
The funding round, from investors including Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Propel Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, and Digital Currency Group, brings the company’s total fundraising in the last year to $7 million.
Brave, which was launched last year, is a web browser that speeds page loading times by stripping away ads and blocking tracking devices."
Philippines’ blockchain remittance firm Coins.ph raises $5 million
"Two-year-old Philippine Bitcoin startup Coins.ph has raised $5 million for its mobile-focused blockchain payment platform.
The Series A round was led by the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund that included Innovation Endeavors, Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, Wavemaker Labs, Global Brain, BeeNext and Rebright Partners. Coins’ platform provides users with access to basic financial services such as remittances, bill payments, and mobile airtime.
The company’s main “Teller” product works by using Coins.ph accounts and retailers that currently accept Bitcoin payments via the Coins.ph network to transfer actual fiat currency between two parties, offering a money transfer service that doesn’t require the use of banks."
Bitstamp Becomes First Nationally Licensed Bitcoin Exchange; License Applies In 28 EU Countries
"On Monday, Bitstamp announced that Luxembourg has granted it a payment institution license, making the company the first nationally licensed Bitcoin exchange in the world."
Visa, Nasdaq, Citi, Pantera, & Others Invest $30 Million in Blockchain Development Startup Chain, Inc.
"Wall Street is putting more money behind a technology it once dismissed as a fad.
Some of the biggest companies in the financial sector have invested $30 million in Chain Inc., a San Francisco-based company that works with banks and other institutions to develop ways to trade and transfer financial assets using the system that underpins the virtual currency Bitcoin."
Abra Raises $12M In Series A Funding For Its Bitcoin-Based Remittance Service
"Abra, a remittance service built on top of the Blockchain, has closed $12 million in Series A funding. Investors in the round include Arbor Ventures, RRE Ventures, and First Round Capital. Total funding to date by the company now totals $14 million.
The company’s app, which will launch soon to the general public, lets users around the world transfer funds denominated in any currency at an extremely cost-effective rate."
Chronicled, Inc. Announces $1,400,000 Financing For Consumer Authenticity Technology Platform With Silicon Valley Investors And Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch
"Chronicled, Inc. today announced that it has closed $1,400,000 in convertible note financing. The round was led by investment firm Colbeck, with participation from Mandra Capital, Pantera Capital, Social Starts, and Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, in addition to the Company's four co-founders and other angel investors. The Company intends to use the funds to continue building its consumer authenticity platform, which it will launch for limited edition sneakers in autumn 2015."
Will Bitcoin Finally Bring Down The House Of Medici?
"In the 14th century, the Medici family used the power of its newly invented, double-entry accounting system to build a cross-border banking empire that banks still use today. Now more than 600 years later, cross-border payments total more than $22 trillion.
These transactions are essential to conducting international business, and increasingly important as global commerce continues to expand — a 14th century process is simply not good enough. Medici’s system uses “nostro” and “vostro” accounts — in English that translates to “ours” and “yours.”
The bitcoin ledger, a two-column spreadsheet with who owns what, is simply the 21st-century version: 12 million rows — one for each person who owns bitcoin. The second column shows how many they own and that column totals 14 million bitcoins today. It’s a very clear public record of who owns what — one that does not require paying a third party to keep those accounts."
Raj Date-Led VC Firm Backs Align Commerce Seed Round
"A diverse cast of investors has contributed to the most recent undisclosed seed funding round for blockchain-based, cross-border payments solution provider Align Commerce.
Participants included more familiar names such as entrepreneur Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Opportunity Corp, Adam Draper-led Boost VC and hedge fund Pantera Capital. The round also included traditionally payments-focused VC firms such as Bayhill Capital Management, NyCa Investment, Pivot Holding, Fenway Summer, R3 and the Whittemore Collection."
Africa Sees Record VC Funding in Q1 201
"Africa has achieved yet another milestone in the world of cryptocurrency as the first quarter of 2015 drew to a close. The continent saw the highest amount of venture capital backing so far according to the State of Bitcoin report, which covered the trends of cryptocurrency in the period.
Although Bitpesa, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, was the only African cryptocurrency startup to make it into the VC investment section of the report, it was able to raise US$1.1 million from Pantera Capital, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp and Cryptocurrency Partners in its second round of funding. This was the largest amount of capital to ever come into the African cryptocurrency space."
SF Startup Targets B2B Global Payments with Blockchain Rails, Public Beta Release
"Align Commerce, a San Francisco-based startup, announced the public beta of its cross-border payments platform based on the blockchain technology. The startup is looking to provide small and medium-sized companies with faster, cheaper and transparent solutions for global B2B transactions.
Founded in early 2014 by payments veterans Aldo Carrascoso and Marwan Forzley, Align Commerce wants to bring efficiency to a fast growing market that is craving to innovate.
Forzley, who previously founded eBillme, an online payment company acquired by Western Union in October 2011, stated:
"The $24 trillion cross-border payments market is growing at a breakneck pace, expected to eclipse $54 trillion by 2022, despite a highly inefficient and expensive system in which businesses spend over $50 billion on wire and foreign exchange fees, wait up to seven days for transactions to complete, and have no visibility into the process.""
Align Commerce Halves Cost and Time of Transactions in $24 Trillion International Payments Market
"Align Commerce, a next-generation global payments provider, announced today a public beta of its innovative payments platform, the first in the industry to use the blockchain to enable faster, less expensive global transactions.
“The $24 trillion cross-border payments market is growing at a breakneck pace, expected to eclipse $54 trillion by 2022, despite a highly inefficient and expensive system in which businesses spend over $50 billion on wire and foreign exchange fees, wait up to seven days for transactions to complete, and have no visibility into the process,” said Marwan Forzley, CEO and Founder of Align Commerce. “The blockchain offers a ready alternative. The Align Commerce Payments Platform is the first in the industry to use this global rail to help small and medium-sized businesses quickly collect and receive payments in their local currency while avoiding high wire fees and various hidden fees.”"
Korbit Raises $3 Million to Expand Bitcoin Adoption in Korea
"Korbit (https://www.korbit.co.kr), Korea’s leading bitcoin exchange, wallet and merchant processor, has closed a $3 million Series A funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Korea. Pantera Capital led the round from the US side, with participation from BAM Ventures and previous investors Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Tim Draper, Pietro Dova and initial investor Strong Ventures. Regarding the investor group, Korbit CEO Tony Lyu noted that, “the leading investors in the Bitcoin space have chosen Korbit and continue to show support.”
Regarding the Korbit investment, SoftBank Ventures Korea Partner Kangjoon Ryan Lee remarked, "The costs and security issues arising from the reliance on financial intermediaries for credit guarantees has been mitigated through Bitcoin's technological innovation. Bitcoin provides big advantages in terms of cost savings and ease of use compared to traditional currencies and credit cards. I expect Bitcoin to create meaningful markets in payments and international remittance. Going forward, Bitcoin can play a role in wider variety of industries, for example enabling machine-to-machine transactions or acting as a platform for smart contracts.""
Korean Bitcoin Exchange Korbit Raises $3M Series A
"Korean bitcoin exchange Korbit has raised $3 million in Series A funding led by SoftBank Ventures Korea and Pantera Capital, with participation from BAM Ventures, and returning investors Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Tim Draper, Pietro Dova, and Strong Ventures. The startup told TechCrunch that it will use its Series A to improve the quality of its products and services and make additional hires."
Chain raises $9.5 million to build Bitcoin development platform
"Chain today is launching as a startup that hopes to become the definitive development platform for Bitcoin, whether the ultimate application relates to financial services or to some other sort of decentralized service.
It also will announce $9.5 million in Series A funding. Khosla Ventures led the round, and was joined by RRE Ventures, Thrive Capital, SV Angel, Box Group Kevin Ryan, Barry Silbert, Scott Banister, Homebrew, 500 Startups and Pantera Capital."
BitPagos Raises $600,000 Seed Round to Boost Bitcoin Use in South America
"If entrepreneur Sebastian Serrano has his way, Argentines will be bitcoin-spending pioneers. He hopes hotels and hostels in the South-American country will bill their customers with his electronic-payment company BitPagos Inc. to bypass the country’s troubled currency and accept payments in bitcoins or dollars.
On Tuesday, the startup announced it had raised a seed round of $600,000 led by Pantera Capital, Tim Draper, Barry Silbert, Boost Bitcoin Fund, Amasia and others."
Bitcoin startup Circle lands $17 million
"Circle Internet Financial has just raised another $17 million, Fortune has learned.
The Bitcoin exchange startup, founded and run by serial entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire, closed its Series B financing round, bringing Circle’s total funding to $26 million. Oak Investment Partners led the round, joining other new backers such as Pantera Capital and the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund of Barry Silbert, CEO of SecondMarket."
Fortress, Benchmark and Ribbit Buy Stake in Pantera Bitcoin
"The creation of the partnership represents a significant step in the push to move Bitcoin into the financial mainstream at a time when several well publicized claims of theft have pointed to potential weaknesses in the digital currency economy."