Coinify has raised $4.8 million to take cryptocurrencies to more retail locations.
The investment was led by Nordic Eye and included SEED Capital and SEB Ventures. Coinify is already serving more than 60,000 merchants in Europe, enabling them to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from shoppers as payment for everyday transactions.
Several million cryptocurrency holders have wallets on the platform, and in 2017 Coinify’s revenues grew 1,600 percent. The company hopes to bring regulation, transparency, and consumer-friendly usability to cryptocurrency payments in retail stores. It also wants to make cash withdrawals a reality in its most in-demand markets.
Coinify has more than three years of transaction history. Peter Warnoe, CEO of Copenhagen, Denmark-based Nordic Eye, said in an interview with VentureBeat that his venture firm, established in April 2017, had to go through a lot of rigorous due diligence before it made the investment.
“I have invested for more than 25 years, and this was one of the most difficult investments,” Warnoe said. “This space of new cryptocurrencies of Bitcoin and blockchain is difficult. So many things are happening. We’ve investigated. Some say there is a lot of fraud. Our analysis shows some people are very positive on this space. And as a VC, we believe you have to take risks. We think that Coinify could be one of the leaders.”
The company previously raised $4 million, and Warnoe said Coinify is currently profitable. Most of its growth is in Europe, with a higher concentration in the Nordic countries, and it has plans to expand to the U.S.
Coinify intends to use the capital to further expand its operations, acquire talent, grow its technology, and establish more bases of operation across Europe, the United States, and other markets.
Bitcoin has seen its price soar and fall and rise again in recent weeks. The unregulated market still remains a mystery to the average consumer and unsophisticated investor. So platforms like Coinify have emerged to implement regulation and transparency and to streamline the virtual currency investment and trading process. Coinify provides a Payment Service Provider (PSP) solution that accepts blockchain payments on behalf of merchants and allows merchants to receive local currency payouts.
The following virtual currencies can currently be accepted by Coinify merchants: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ether, Startcoin, TetherUSD, Dogecoin, Reddcoin, Peercoin, StorjX, Nubits, Novacoin, Digibyte, Mastercoin, and Counterparty.
Among the areas Coinify is now exploring is the idea of using cryptocurrency for charities, since you can tie a specific action to the use of the currency. For instance, you might use cryptocurrency to donate money to a village in Africa that needs solar power. That donation could be used only for purchasing that solar power.
“Blockchain can be a big benefit to people who have mobile phones but no bank accounts,” Warnoe said. “We see huge upside.”
Coinify was founded in 2014 by Kris Henriksen, Lasse Olesen, and Mark Hojgaard and is based in Herlev Copenhagen, Denmark. It has 30 employees.
[Updated: 10:07 am 1/5/18 — We deleted the valuation, ATM information, and precise number of users due to incorrect information provided to us.]