The bitcoin startup, founded by internet and technology entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire, announced that it has raised $50m from a strategic investment round co-led by Goldman Sachs and IDG.
The new investors were joined by all of Circle’s existing funders including Breyer Capital and Accel Partners.
The calibre of the investors suggests that bitcoin industry’s fortunes are on the up and that the crypto-currency is finally being taken seriously by investors. It’s yet another large investment for a bitcoin platform following Coinbase’s Series C funding in January, when it raised $75m from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and the New York Stock Exchange.
The funding allows Circle to give its customers the opportunity to store, instantaneously send and accept US dollars, as well as bitcoin, in a secure manner. Users can use Bitcoin network services without being concerned about price volatility.
Circle is clearly using the funding to make bitcoin transactions simple but, more importantly, appealing. The value in Bitcoin recently plummeted to $238, nearly 10 times less than its value in December 2013. It will now carry out instant conversions meaning customers can pay in dollars to a merchant that accepts bitcoin payments. It will also instantly convert bitcoin to dollars.
The investment and guidance from IDG, a Chinese venture capitalist firm, will help Circle to expand into the tough Chinese market.
“China is today the center of innovation in mobile apps and digital finance. We have a lot to learn from them, and we’re excited to bridge the dollar economy to the yuan economy using global digital currency,” said Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville, co-founders of Circle.
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