Español Coinbase, a leading bitcoin-wallet provider, announced on Tuesday, January 20, that it has successfully raised US$75 million in funding, drawing capital from several prominent first-time bitcoin investors, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Fortune 500 financial services group USAA, Spanish banking giant BBVA, and Japanese telecom DoCoMo.
Their latest funding round, led by DFJ Growth, is the biggest yet for a bitcoin start-up, almost doubling the $30.5 million raised by fellow wallet provider Blockchain.
Barry Schuler, a managing director at DFJ Growth, said he is confident in the future of bitcoin. “If we thought there was a huge risk of bitcoin going away, we obviously wouldn’t have made this investment.” Before December’s funding round, Coinbase previously raised investments totaling $106 million.
Addressing the reason behind DFJ Growth’s decision to fund Coinbase, Schuler said, “You have to have a feel for how to engage consumers. That’s the real spark you see with these guys.”
Despite the recent plunge in bitcoin’s price, Coinbase executives are optimistic. “Investors still have a pretty high conviction on bitcoin despite what the spot price of bitcoin is doing,” said Fred Ersham, cofounder of the company. “This really is people putting their money where their mouth is in terms of betting on bitcoin as a technology trend.”
Long-time bitcoin investors, such as investments groups Union Square Ventures, Ribbit Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, also took part in the funding round, joining Vikram S. Pandit, a former chief executive of Citigroup, and Thomas H. Glocer, former chief executive of Thomson Reuters.
“A lot of these companies, they want to invest in category leaders, and we made a convincing case that that was us,” Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong told CoinDesk.
Coinbase is currently operating in 19 countries, and Armstrong has said he has plans to expand to 30 countries by the end of 2015.