Early last year we wrote about the company that was aiming to come the go to technology for remittance payments and Kenyon. Now, this company is taken a step further towards its goal. BitPesa, the company that promises to allow Kenyans to pay staff and suppliers in one easy transaction, has announced the raising of $1.1 million in a follow-on round. The latest funding round was led by Pantera Capital Management LP, and also garnered support from Crypto Currency Partners LP, Stephens Investment Management LLC, and existing shareholders: the Bitcoin Opportunity Corporation and Future/Perfect Ventures, among others.
Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO and co-founder, had this to say:
We’ve learned a lot, and we’re growing…We’re surprised ourselves about how many people are excited about it…This whole year has been a really big learning curve.
How does it work? The beauty of the BitPesa model is its simplicity. Users buy bitcoin using a smartphone or similar device, and sends this bitcoin to BitPesa. BitPesa then send fiat (Kenyan Shilling) to the intended recipient. The recipient can then send the funds to any mobile money or bank account they choose. The company charges a transaction fee of just 3%.
The remittance business is huge in developing nations, and BitPesa hopes to take advantage of the potential scale and expand into Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda during the first half of this year. The latest funding round suggests that this expansion is realistic, and that institutional scale investors have faith in the company’s ability to grow.
This is just another example of how digital currencies can revolutionise not just traditional financial activity in the developed world, but also they stayed transactions in developing and emerging markets that otherwise struggle. Have you used the company? What are your thoughts? Let us know!