Bitcoin payment provider OpenNode has closed a $20 million Series A funding round led by U.K. firm Kingsway at a $220 million valuation to fuel its global expansion, according to a press release provided to CoinDesk. Other participants in the round include Twitter, venture capital investor Tim Draper and Avon Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with Fidelity Investments.
Founded in 2018, Los Angeles-based OpenNode processes and settles bitcoin payments instantly through the Lightning Network, the leading system for improving bitcoin’s scalability.
OpenNode said its systems for businesses and platforms include payment buttons, hosted checkouts, e-commerce plug-ins and optimized application programming interfaces (APIs).
"OpenNode allows the retailer to accept bitcoin without having to pay the banks or the credit card companies the 2% to 4%. OpenNode can do it with only a fraction of the energy cost required for an on-chain bitcoin transaction," said Tim Draper in the press release.
OpenNode charges a flat 1% transaction fee, according to the company website.
"Digital currencies encourage more people globally to participate in the economy, and with less friction. OpenNode is creating easier pathways for anyone, anywhere to access the digital economy through their seamless integration of bitcoin payments," said Twitter group product manager Esther Crawford.
Twitter is OpenNode’s newest backer, reflecting the social network’s growing moves into crypto. In November, Twitter launched a dedicated crypto team. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, a fervent bitcoin supporter, soon after left his role at Twitter to focus on payments firm Square, later renamed Block. Last month, Twitter rolled out non-fungible token (NFT) verification services and posted a job listing for a senior crypto role.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, 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. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.