Thiel Leads Investment in European Crypto-Exchange Bitpanda

(Bloomberg) — Digital investment platform Bitpanda raised $52 million in its first major funding round, led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.

Retail investors have boomed since the pandemic hit, with day-traders pouring money into investing apps like U.S.-based Robinhood Markets Inc. Based in Vienna, Bitpanda currently allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as precious metals.

“The Robinhood movement in the U.S. helps a lot, but we want to be more customer-friendly,” Eric Demuth, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Bitpanda, said in an interview.

Read More: Winklevoss Twins’ Crypto Exchange Is Expanding Into the U.K.

Bitpanda’s new funding round will be used to recruit 70 new employees, bringing the total number of staff to 300 by the end of 2020. The company also plans to expand in Europe and next year will offer users access to stock markets.

The company’s executives declined to comment on its valuation, but said Bitpanda was at a “market standard” for a “series A” fundraising. Founded in 2014, Bitpanda said it has more than 1.3 million users and is profitable, without giving further details. Valar Ventures’s founding partner, Andrew McCormack, will join Bitpanda’s board as part of the investment. Other backers included Austrian investor Speedinvest.

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