It's not even half a year since crypto exchange Bitpanda announced a $170M Series B -- when, back in March, Austria's first unicorn was being valued at $1.2 billion. Today it's topping that: Announcing a $263M Series C, led by Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures, with the fintech startup now valued at a whopping $4.1BN -- more than 3x its earlier valuation as crypto trading continues cooking on gas.
The round was signed earlier this month, just four months after the business gained unicorn status. Other participating investors include Alan Howard and REDO Ventures, with existing investors LeadBlock Partners and Jump Capital also joining the Series C.
There are a number of exchanges and trading platforms targeted at retail investors, of course, including some big US-based players. But Bitpanda has been making its mark by being Europe-focused, with offices and physical tech hubs located in eight cities across the region, including Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin, Krakow, London, Madrid, Milan, and Paris.
The platform has a further twist in that it lets its ~3 million users easily invest (commission-free) in precious metals (like gold) or in any established stock they fancy -- in addition to encouraging individuals to hop aboard the crypto rollercoaster, which was its first focus. (The minimum investment amount set by the platform is €1.)
Despite diversification beyond crypto, a spokeswoman confirmed to us that crypto trading remains "the preferred choice" for Bitpanda's current users, noting the Stocks trading product is still in beta. "With Bitpanda Stocks, we introduced a new way of investing in stocks and ETFs; it enables investing 24/7, any time, day or night. This is still in a beta phase, we’re adding constantly new assets. That said, stock trading is slowly picking up and increasing its share in overall trading," she added.
More recently (in June) Bitpanda expanded into the b2b market -- with a white label platform offering that lets other fintechs and banks offer trading to their own clients.
This combination of products and regional focus has helped the platform pile on new users in short order: Bitpanda says it's "on track" to achieve 6x customer growth year over year, with revenues projected to increase sevenfold in 2021 vs the previous year.
The Series C funding will be used for international expansion and growth, per a press release, as well as going on further beefing up headcount (500+ strong at this stage), as well as on gearing up for further scaling of the business.
Tech and product are also set to get juiced with Series C funds.
Commenting in a statement, Eric Demuth, co-founder and CEO, said: “We started Bitpanda in 2014 with a clear vision: To bring investing closer to everyone, everywhere. We wouldn’t be here today without the efforts of our talented team members who are constantly 'rolling up their sleeves' to make things happen. We’re grateful to share our journey with these incredible people — and that’s why a key area of focus for us is to keep strengthening our team by bringing onboard world-class talent.We’re also grateful for the vote of confidence received from our investors, old and new, in this investment round. We look forward to working together as we shape the future of finance and grow Bitpanda into the #1 investment platform in Europe
Bitpanda's spokeswoman also told us that international expansion and growth are "key priorities", adding: "We’ll keep building the team, opening new offices, and launching new products as we design for scale and optimise for growth. This also means strengthening Bitpanda’s position in existing markets -- such as in the DACH region, Spain, France, Italy, and Poland, and also enter new markets, such as the UK or the markets in Central and Eastern Europe."
In another supporting statement, Andrew McCormack, founding partner of Valar Ventures, said: “We believed in Bitpanda’s potential from the beginning and we are impressed by the results that Eric, Paul, Christian and the Bitpanda team have achieved. With more than 1.2 million users acquired in the first half of 2021, impressive net revenue growth and world-class executive hires, Bitpanda stands as the living proof that hypergrowth can be achieved in a sustainable way. We’re excited to further work together to bring the world of investing at the fingertips of everyone, anywhere.”