Blockchain startup BitX raises funds from Venturra Capital

Visual of BitX homepage. December 2015

Singapore-based BitX today announced an undisclosed amount of additional funding from Venturra Capital, a $150 million Indonesia-based Southeast Asian-focused venture fund. This will see Venturra join existing investors, Naspers Group, Digital Currency Group, Ariadne Capital and angel investor Carol Realini.

A global cryptocurrency platform, BitX provides highly secure mobile wallets, institutional quality exchanges, and various APIs for merchant and other business integration.

The platform is aimed at facilitating faster and cheaper money transfers, buying online, and trading and storing their Bitcoin. Crunchbase places their total funding raised to date at $8.8 million prior to this round.

According to BitX, capital from this round will finance further recruitment and product development, as well as the expansion of of their service beyond its current target consumers in markets that include emerging economies like Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and South Africa. With offices in Cape Town, South Africa, and Jakarta, the company currently offers a mixture of services in various countries.

Besides their global provision of both wallets and their API, BitX offers additional services in Indonesia in the form of instantaneous trading of bitcoins, trading and exchange services in Kenya, Malaysia and South Africa and an exchange in Nigeria.

Venturra Capital is based out of Jakarta and founded by former Rocket Internet and Monk’s Hill Ventures partner Stefan Jung, former Google Indonesia CEO Rudy Ramawy and John Riady, director of the Lippo Group, a diversified Indonesian super-conglomerate.

Jung, Venturra Capital’s managing partner, said, “BitX has an exceptional team that combines deep technical expertise and commercial acumen. They have proven they can build innovative products and strong traction in a rapidly emerging industry.”

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BitX co-founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel stated: “We’re very excited to bring Venturra onboard for the next phase of BitX’s growth. Venturra is one of those rare funds that doesn’t just talk about adding value, but actually does it, in a consistent, relevant and tangible way.”

Adding that their experience and networks in Southeast Asia were a dividend to BitX, Swanepoel expressed enthusiasm regarding the partnership, stating that it would aid in establishing their market leadership.

In an interaction with Coindesk, Swanepoel explained: “With our lean structure and very low cost base, the funds we have raised equate to a lot more when compared to similar rounds raised by companies in the US and Singapore.”

A review of BitX’s job page suggests they are expanding their workforce in South Africa, with a number of engineering positions available in Cape Town. This synchronises with the lower costs associated with operating and living in South Africa, compared to Singpaore.

With BitX seeing its greatest growth in Southeast Asia, the addition of Swanepoel is meant to deepen its reserves of social capital for regional expansion, though Swanepoel states that BitX retains its global outlook, saying : “We see a lot more potential for bitcoin in emerging markets than developed markets. Markets like Southeast Asia are important markets for us but not exclusive.”

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.