East Ventures backs crypto wallet BRD in $32m funding round

Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Files

Southeast Asia- and Japan-focused venture capital firm East Ventures has backed Switzerland-based cryptocurrency wallet startup BRD in its $32-million funding round.

The round was raised from a combination of venture capital funding and a crowdsale, BRD said in an announcement. The proceeds will be used to expand its engineering and business development team at its new offices in Chicago, Bend, and Tokyo as well as to fuel customer acquisition.

Launched in 2014, Zurich-headquartered BRD has previously raised $39 million from investors focused on banking, fintech and blockchain. East Ventures had earlier backed a $7-million round in the startup, formerly known as Breadwallet, in 2017 along with DAS Capital, Globe Advisors, Liberty City Ventures, Maffin Inc, OKWAVE and Saison Ventures.

BRD also announced the release of new blockchain application Augustus, which enables receiving, sending, and buying of tokens through its partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Changelly.

“If we’re going to build a new financial system, we might as well revise rewards and loyalty programs too. Today, hotels and airlines spin up points when earned, and wind them down when redeemed.

“It works pretty well, but consumers must trust the company to manage the value of their points. We can’t make any more BRD tokens. We have to deliver value to those who hold our token, period. This is a new model and a challenge to the status quo,” said BRD co-founder and CEO Aaron Lasher.

BRD claims to hold over $6 billion in cryptocurrency assets under its protection.

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