Bitrefill has just closed a $2 million seed round led by Coin Ninja, with participation from Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Fulgur Ventures and BnkToTheFuture.
This veteran startup provides cryptocurrency gift cards for big brands and mobile refills. It’s also building Lightning Network-based products and services. In addition to previous funding from Boost VC and others, the new seed round adds up to $2.4 million total in Bitrefill capital.
At the moment, Bitrefill is only offering its services to U.S. and European clients. The new funding round will enable its expansion to new jurisdictions, and help it launch other innovative products. As their CCO John Carvalho stated for CoinDesk, they plan on achieving “worldwide coverage within the year.” It’s also highly likely Bitrefill will hire new people and expand its creative staff.
Charlie Lee and Bitrefill stated in a press release that the startup’s increased participation in the lighting network ecosystem “opens up even more potential for Bitcoin and beyond.” In 2019, Bitrefill launched its Thor & Thor Turbo products to facilitate onboarding to the Lightning Network. This enabled users to give lightning channels to other people with no need for new setup on the recipient’s end. 1ML.com claims that Thor is the main lightning network capacity increasing service in terms of value with almost $19,000 worth of Bitcoin. Thor is also the top service provider running nodes on the network.
Although Carvalho refused to comment on the exact revenue his 16-person team generated in 2019, he stated cryptocurrency gift card sector is growing at a breakneck speed.
With regards to broader plans for allocating this capital in 2019, Sergej Kotliar, the Bitcoin startup’s founder and CEO added:
“We see it as a big token of trust that investors from the Bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency community have chosen to put their money behind us and support us in our growth journey.”
One should bear in mind that several funding rounds are often a necessary step in the startup growth lifecycle, according to the 2019 Startup Failure Deep Dive Report. In fact, every subsequent seed round is increasingly more difficult to obtain.
Of the 1,098 tech companies CBInsights tracked that raised seed rounds in the US during a two-year period, 46%, could raise a second seed round, and only 14% had successfully raised a fourth round of funding.
With proper backing by Coin Ninja, Bitrefill is much more likely to rise to more ambitious, innovative outcomes, and work with more Bitcoin businesses to grow the network.