Bitcoin startup Coinbase receives $25m investment from a16z

Summary:Coinbase's Series B comes shortly after Aussie startup Coinjar gets its own AU$500,000.

US Bitcoin wallet and merchant services provider Coinbase has raised US$25 million in a B Series round led by investment firm Andreessen Horowitz.

A16z, as it is colloquially known, is joined by Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital in the round, and bring the total capital raised by the startup to US$31 million.

The company has brought Union Square Ventures founder Fred Wilson and a16z investor Chris Dixon on to its board. Dixon wrote on his blog that Bitcoin itself is "the first plausible proposal for an economic protocol for the Internet", and that he believes Coinbase is to Bitcoin as web browsers are to HTTP.

The funds will be used to expand Coinbase's team and to promote and market Bitcoin. It is averaging 10,000 new customers each day and is working with 16,000 merchants.

A similar startup in Australia, Coinjar, has also recently seen an injection of funds from venture capitalists betting on Bitcoin adoption to increase.

Coinjar raised AU$500,000 from Blackbird Ventures in November and represents one of the few ways that Australians are able to purchase Bitcoins with Australian currency.

It is already seeing some friction with local banks, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia earlier this year closing its business account without warning, then closing two personal accounts of its founders without notice.

The startup has also refused to honour transfers from ANZ bank accounts due to a high level of fraud and the bank not implementing what it believes to be acceptable security measures. It is the only bank out of the big four that still lacks two-factor authentication for consumers.

Topics: Start-Ups, Banking, E-Commerce

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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