Blockchain payments firm Circle has announced that it has raised $60 million of new capital from a group of strategic Chinese investors. While its service is still not available in China, the firm is now launching Circle China, a Beijing-based venture focused on making them a major player in the Chinese payments market.
The financing was led by IDG Capital Partners, Breyer Capital and General Catalyst Partners, and included on a syndicate of powerful investors in China, such as Baidu, CICC ALPHA, China Everbright Limited, Wanxiang and CreditEase. Two prominent individuals also invested in the company: Sam Palmisano, former Chairman and CEO of IBM, and Glenn Hutchins, the co-founder of SilverLake.
“Blockchain technology will play a critical role in transforming the global financial services industry,” said Mr. Joseph Liang, Chairman and CEO of CICC ALPHA. “Circle is an outstanding blockchain technology startup with great vision and team to transform the consumer finance industry. We look forward to partnering with them to build a bright future together.”
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“Circle is one of the most impressive startups in the blockchain technology space” said Peter Fang, executive director of Baidu corporate development. “Together with other influential investors, Baidu is very excited to partner with Circle team to build its vision successfully and globally.”
Circle started as one of the crypto industry’s largest bitcoin wallet services and in 2015 became the first to be granted a BitLicense to operate in New York State. Earlier this year the service expanded to the UK in cooperation with Barclays after it received a E-Money Issuer License in the country.