GoCoin raises $550k to process bitcoin payments in Asia and South America
Published on November 7, 2013 at 12:30 BST
Bitcoin payment processor GoCoin has raised $550,000 in venture capital to expand its operations.
GoCoin's seed round was funded by a group of investors, most notably Owen Van Natta, a former Chief Operating Officer of Facebook who has also held positions at Amazon and Zynga.
BitAngels, a distributed angel fund that has invested in a number of BTC-based startups, has also participated in the round.
Founded in July 2013, GoCoin has been hard at work building a platform that will allow merchants to accept various virtual currencies.
"GoCoin is currently a tight team of four full-time employees and a number of independent contractors working on specific short-term tasks," says Steve Beauregard, a co-founder and CEO of GoCoin.
Brock Pierce, who has invested in a number of online gaming startups and played an early role in the development of virtual goods, will serve as chairman of the board.
The company's payments platform is currently in a private beta with a small group of merchants, smoothing out the processing on its platform with bitcoin payments to start out with.
"For our merchants in our early adopters program, there are 0% processing fees and no monthly fees," Beauregard told CoinDesk.
Although it faces competition from the likes of companies such as San Francisco-based Coinbase and Atlanta-based BitPay, GoCoin's headquarters are in Singapore, although it does also have an office in Santa Monica, California.
Its strategy is to operate in markets outside of the United States, specifically focusing on merchants in Asia and South America.
“GoCoin is domiciled in Singapore, which is certainly the financial capital of SE Asia and arguably now the world.”
The company has strategically chosen these areas "where the challenges of accepting credit cards and purchasing goods and services online between even neighboring countries can be especially difficult," according to its press release announcing the seed funding.
E-commerce, online content and gaming are areas that will be a primary focus as it seeks out merchants to work with.
"GoCoin is domiciled in Singapore, which is certainly the financial capital of SE Asia and arguably now the world. Our investors are from literally around the globe, as is our merchant base," says Beauregard.
Companies that are interested in using GoCoin's platform can expect simple compliance procedures to enable them to get started quickly with accepting bitcoin payments, according to Beauregard.
"We are implementing reasonable KYC procedures for merchants signing up for our services. We have set thresholds which will step up the required KYC documentation once passed."
And given the dominance of mobile phones over personal computers in Asia and South America, GoCoin has plans to build out a mobility strategy as well, says Beauregard.
"We have some exciting plans for mobile that we will announce soon."
GoCoin's fundraise follows the news last week that Circle, a new bitcoin startup by entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire, raised $9m from tech big-hitters Jim Breyer, Accel Partners and General Catalyst Partners, in the largest ever funding to date for a bitcoin company.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.
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