Peter Thiel Backs Bitcoin Startup River in $35M Round

The Series B funding for the Bitcoin financial services provider was led by Kingsway Capital.

AccessTimeIconMay 16, 2023 at 1:38 p.m. UTC
Updated May 16, 2023 at 6:50 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin technology and financial services company River has raised $35 million in a Series B round led by investment firm Kingsway Capital, with participation from billionaire investor Peter Thiel.

River offers a wide range of bitcoin-related services for individuals and businesses, including a brokerage that offers zero-fee dollar-cost averaging, mining, full-reserve custody, and a wallet that supports both on-chain transactions and transactions on the Lightning Network – a bitcoin scaling solution that settles transactions off-chain for faster speeds and lower fees. Last October, the company launched River Lightning, an application programming interface (API) that makes it easier for companies to connect their applications to the Lightning Network.

"These bank failures and bailouts have been a reminder of why Bitcoin is so important," said River CEO Alex Leishman in a press release. "It's a secure path to a fairer, more equal, and transparent global economy," he added. "As a result," he continued, "River's goal is to provide the most seamless on-ramp to invest in bitcoin for the everyday person as they search for an alternative to the current system. This funding round demonstrates our commitment to championing an honest and robust financial environment through the use of bitcoin—the world's only incorruptible digital currency."

Other investors in this new funding included Cygni, Goldcrest, and Valor Equity Partners. River last raised $12 million in a Series A round in 2021.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Brandy Betz

Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.