Wirex, an online banking platform and provider of pre-paid virtual and plastic cards that can be topped up with both fiat and cryptocurrencies, has announced that it has raised $3m via a Series A funding round.
SBI Group, a Japanese financial services company, is the principle funder in the deal. Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption.
“Japan is a key market for bitcoin-compatible financial products and services, and one of our fastest-growing customer base” said Pavel Matveev, co-founder of Wirex Limited. “We are delighted to have this strategic partnership with the SBI Group. Together we can push bitcoin adoption in the Asia-Pacific region to the next level.”
The company currently has around 500,000 customers in 130 countries, and is looking to obtain an e-money licence in the UK.
And in other related news, last week India’s premier mobile wallet provider Paytm announced that it had raised $200m in funding for its commercial arm, with the bulk of the investment (reportedly $177m) coming from Chinese commerce giant Alibaba.
The finance will be used to split Paytm’s commercial division from its payments division and challenge Amazon and local e-commerce providers Flipkart and Snapdeal in the Indian e-commerce market.
The funding rounds of Wirex and Paytm come just a week after UK digital bank Monzo revealed that it had received £19.5m in Series B funding. CEO Tom Blomfield announced that a further £2.5m would be raised from crowdfunding, at time of writing over £10.5m has been pledged, so investors will have to be balloted before investment is accepted. Investment was capped at £1,000, meaning that in excess of ten thousand investors have pledged to fund the challenger bank.
The crowdfunding was part of a £22m funding round that will support the launch of a current account facility.
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