In what continues to be a hot market for venture investing, bitcoin payment service provider, Bitnet Technologies has announced that it has raised $14.5 million in Series A funding. The news continues a record month of bitcoin related investing with October 2014 deals shattering previous highs of investing. Earlier in the month, Blockchain announced a $30 million financing round which tied BitPay as the largest single round of funding, while BitFury received another $20 million to help it develop new ASIC chips. (Full October Calendar)
For Bitnet, the current funding was let by Highland Capital Partners and Japanese ecommerce operator Rakuten. According to Bitnet, the funds will help them expand their physical presence into continental Europe and Asia. Joining Bitnet’s Board of Directors following the funding is Peter Bell, a Partner at Highland Capital Partners. With Rakuten and already offering bitcoin payments on some of its retail sites with a Bitnet competitor, with their investment it can be expected that the will now become a user of Bitnet’s technology.
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Founded in January 2014 by John McDonnell and Stephen Mc Namara who serve as the firm’s CEO and CTO respectively, according to Bitnet the company is comprised of “27 payments industry veterans with extensive technical and executive backgrounds at CyberSource and Visa”. The current funding occurs after the firm had announced that it was chosen by Acromedia earlier this month to provide bitcoin payment processing to their merchants.
Commenting on the funding, Peter Bell stated that “John, Stephen, and the team they have assembled are the epitome of what we mean when we talk about partnering with innovative entrepreneurs who have the ambition to build disruptive, market-leading companies. Bitnet is breaking down the barriers of digital currency transactions and has the potential to transform the way we exchange goods and services around the world.”
According to Bitnet, they believe that using their experience in building global payment gateways such as those for CyberSource and Visa provide them with an operation advantage versus other firms in the space. On this John McDonnell, stated that “Many of these bigger (merchants) have looked at existing solutions and have remained on the sidelines — until now. With Bitnet, we’re building the integrations, systems and technologies that multi-national retailers and travel companies need in order to accept bitcoin. Being scalable and integrating with existing payment systems and commerce platforms are what’s important to them.”