South Africa’s Third Largest Firm Leads $4 Million Raise for BitX

Africa

Multinational bitcoin platform, BitX, has raised $4m in a round led by South Africa’s third largest company, the Naspers Group.

The investment, announced today, was made via Naspers’ payments subsidiary, PayU, alongside the Digital Currency Group.

As part of the deal, James Caviness, PayU’s chief product officer, will join the board of directors at BitX.

In a statement, he said:

“We see a bright future for cryptocurrency across a number of industry verticals, and with BitX’s strong management team and solid track record, look forward to leveraging Naspers’ global platform and local knowledge to help them capitalise on these opportunities.”

Though it began as a local South African exchange, BitX, which offers wallet, exchange and merchant services to emerging markets across Southeast Asia and Africa, has seen rapid growth over the last year.

With the release of iOS and Andriod apps, it has also doubled down on mobile, what it described as the “de facto” computing device for the developing world.

Having invested time in building relationships on-the-ground and recruiting local staff in its branches, the Singapore-based platform now claims to have the largest footprint of any cryptocurrency firm in the emerging markets.

High growth markets

BitX was first acquired by South African firm Switchless in 2013.

Last August, it closed a SDG$1m ($824,000) seed funding round from investors including Ariadne Capital and Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Opportunity Corp (BOC).

Like its previous round, BitX says its Series A will help accelerate the company’s growth, including an aggressive hiring push – as illustrated by the 19 jobs currently listed on its site.

“Given our unique and competitive cost structure this funding round represents a significant capital injection to help expand our business,” CEO Marcus Swanepoel said in a statement.

Nasper, which offers services in more than 130 countries worldwide, including high-growth markets, could be crucial for this purpose, he added:

“In Naspers we have a truly global partner with unrivalled capabilities in high growth markets, and we’re very excited to work together in building out our global platform.”

BitXFundingSoutheast Asia

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