Bitcoin Startup Bitrefill Raises $2 Million Funding for Global Expansion

Jun 13, 2019 at 13:00 UTC
Updated Jun 13, 2019 at 14:08 UTC

The veteran bitcoin startup Bitrefill, which offers cryptocurrency gift cards for mainstream brands and lightning-enabled payment services, plans to expand to new jurisdictions thanks to venture backing.

As revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Bitrefill just closed a $2 million seed round led by Coin Ninja, with participation from litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Fulgur Ventures and BnkToTheFuture.

Bitrefill CCO John Carvalho told CoinDesk his Stockholm-based startup plans to expand its offerings across jurisdictions to provide “worldwide coverage within the year.”

In a press release, Lee said Bitrefill services make it easier to “make a living” with cryptocurrency and that the startup’s participation in the lighting network ecosystem “opens up even more potential for bitcoin and beyond.”

Bitrefill’s Thor service, for example, allows people to give lightning channels to someone else with no setup on the recipient’s side. According to, Thor is the top service increasing lightning network capacity in terms of value, with almost $19,000 worth of bitcoin, and the top service provider running nodes on the network.

Although Carvalho declined to state how much revenue the 16-person team earned so far in 2019, he said the sector of the business that sells gift cards for cryptocurrency is growing rapidly. This seed round brings the company’s total funding to $2.4 million from firms including Boost VC and others.

With regards to broader plans to deploy this capital in 2019, Carvalho added:

“We intend to continue offering additional new Lightning Network services, and to collaborate with more Bitcoin businesses to grow the network.”

Team image courtesy of Bitrefill

Could Donald Trump Ban Bitcoin?

| Noelle Acheson

He can try, argues Noelle Acheson – but the risk he might succeed is outweighed by the benefits of the heightened conversation.

Token Startup Founder Took Steps to Sue Lubin, ConsenSys for $13 Million

| Leigh Cuen

The former head of a ConsenSys-incubated startup filed paperwork to sue the venture studio and its founder, Joe Lubin.

What It’s Like to Review Bitcoin’s Code

| Alyssa Hertig

CoinDesk dives deep into the complex process of reviewing code for the Bitcoin Core software.

Short of Target: Bitcoin’s $1K Rally Leaves Bear Bias Intact

| Omkar Godbole

Bitcoin (BTC) has rallied sharply in the last 24 hours, but the bulls must still beat key resistance just over $11,000.

Bitcoin Price Jumps $1K in 30 Minutes to Top $10,000 Again

| Omkar Godbole

Bitcoin surged $1,000 in just 30 minutes during U.S. trading hours Thursday, a move that found the leading cryptocurrency rising to $10,400.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

This article is intended as a news item to inform our readers of various events and developments that affect, or that might in the future affect, the value of the cryptocurrency described above. The information contained herein is not intended to provide, and it does not provide, sufficient information to form the basis for an investment decision, and you should not rely on this information for that purpose. The information presented herein is accurate only as of its date, and it was not prepared by a research analyst or other investment professional. You should seek additional information regarding the merits and risks of investing in any cryptocurrency before deciding to purchase or sell any such instruments.