Bitpanda, a crypto assets platform, has closed a $52 million Series A funding round from Valar Ventures, a venture capital firm backed by Peter Thiel. Vienna-based VC Speedinvest also participated, alongside other unnamed investors. Claiming 1.3 million users, Bitpanda has previously been trading digital assets and tokenizing precious metals.
The Vienna-based company will use the cash to expand internationally. It expanded to France, Spain and Turkey in 2020, and plans to enter additional European markets this year and next. It has 300 employees.
Essentially, Bitpanda is a crypto exchange which can support other kinds of assets in a tokenized form. To date, it’s not very well known or used in the crypto world.
What this represents is an interesting move by a crypto exchange, effectively expanding into real-world assets. At the other end of the spectrum, platforms like eToro, Robinhood and Revolut, which came from traditional assets world, and are now adding crypto world assets. Eventually, the two will meet, in some shape or form.
Bitpanda is a centralized exchange with its own infrastructure, and is not running on a public blockchain. Other centralized exchanges include Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, Kucoin and Huobi.
As part of the investment, Valar Ventures founding partner Andrew McCormack will also join Bitpanda’s board. McCormack was previously with PayPal in its early years and supported Peter Thiel during its IPO and eventual sale to eBay in 2002. Valar has previously invested in European fintechs including TransferWise and the Germany-based digital bank, N26.
This post first appeared here: https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/29/crypto-exchange-bitpanda-closes-52m-series-a-from-valar-ventures-backed-by-peter-thiel/