Mexico-based crypto exchange Bitso became the first LatAm unicorn after getting a valuation of $2.2bn on its $250m Series C funding round.
Led by New York-based privately-owned hedge fund Coatue Management LLC and Tiger Global, the round got participation from Pantera Capital, Paradigm Valor Capital Group, BOND and QED among others.
The company will use these resources to strengthen its core business in LatAm as well as expand to other markets. While the exchange is focusing to expand its reach to other LatAm countries, it also aims to boost its market share in the US where it facilitates US-Mexico remittances.
Bitso already has a presence in Mexico, Argentina and now Brazil, where it just launched its retail operations.
Bitso, founded in 2014, enables its customers to deal in nine cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Bitcoin and Ethereum. Customers can easily buy, sell, hold, cryptocurrency through a mobile application. The company is the only player in the region to offer crypto-insurance for its client’s funds, it said and aims to be “the safest, most transparent and only regulatory compliant platform” in LatAm.
The latest round comes after a series of funding rounds. After getting an early investment of $2.5m by Digital Currency Group, the company that owns Coindesk and Grayscale Investments, Bitso’s next influx came in its Series A funding round, where it raised $15m in October 2019, followed by another round of $62m in December 2020, which was led by Kaszek Ventures and QED Investors.
Bitso, which surpassed 2 million users, claims to have processed more than $1.2bn in international payments — including remittances and payments between companies — during 2020 alone.
Furthermore, the firm more than doubled the assets on its platform in the last five months and its transacting volume during the 2021 first quarter exceeded the transaction volume it did in all of 2020.
Commenting on the round, Tiger Global partner Scott Shleifer said, “Crypto is rapidly gaining adoption in Latin America. We are excited to partner with Bitso and believe they have the right team and platform to increase share in this growing market.”
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