San Francisco-based startup purse.io has secured $300k in funding, which will go towards building bitcoin apps and improving the user experience. The round was contributed by investors Roger Ver, Bobby Lee and Charlie Lee, along with FundersClub and StrongVC.
Purse.io is a marketplace allowing Amazon gift card holders sell them off, at a discount, for bitcoins supplied by their buyer. The seller is happy to get cold, hard ‘cash’ for the gift cards, for which purse.io estimates that $15 billion worth sits around, unused. The seller benefits in buying bitcoins- even with a credit card- without fees (although technically, this is more than compensated for with the incremental face value of the gift card).
The buyer benefits by getting to purchase merchandise on Amazon at a discount, and doing so with bitcoins. The buyer’s bitcoins are held in escrow until the goods are shipped and received.
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The company tracks the effective discount on goods facilitated by its marketplace. The market recently peaked at above 20%, beating expectations for equilibrium around 5-8%.
The company also announced its VIP service, aimed for Amazon Prime members and offering exclusive access to sub-10% discounts during the 24 hours after they’re posted. Furthermore, these users are guaranteed that their order will be filled within 24 hours, with purse.io fulfilling it if nobody else does.
For a detailed list of recent investment and M&A activity in the crypto industry, please visit the DC Magnates Crypto Deal Table.