BitPesa, an African Bitcoin remittance service, has recently completed a funding round, in which it raised $ 1.1 million USD.
The funding round was led by Pantera Capital, a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in Bitcoin startups. Other firms contributed to this round, including Crypto Currency Partners LP, Stephens Investment Management LLC, the Bitcoin Opportunity Corporation and Future/Perfect Ventures.
BitPesa announced their successful funding round in a post on their official blog. Also in the blog post, the company announced that they now employ 9 people full time, and are experiencing growth every day:
“We have been inspired by getting to know our customers. Our average trade amount increases daily and each user is trading more frequently every month – we are seeing real traction. BitPesa is also working with international businesses in the region, such as Give Directly, which has just sent its first trade through our platform. Last month we started selling bitcoins and that has been well received by Kenyan and Ghanaian small businesses needing to make payments abroad. We have had to hire an additional trading assistant to handle our January volumes despite this being a beta soft launch.”
To use this service, an individual buys Bitcoin and sends them to BitPesa. The company then converts the Bitcoin to Kenyan Shillings and deposits the funds in the remittance recipients BitPesa account. The recipient can then send the shillings to a bank or mobile money account.