Coinify has announced an undisclosed venture funding round, as well as a string of strategic deals that aim to position it as the leading bitcoin services company for the European market.
Based in Denmark, Coinify acquired a portfolio of services from established market players in May, purchasing established domestic bitcoin broker Bitcoin Nordic and the merchant services formerly offered by Bitcoin Internet Payment Systems (BIPS).
Speaking to CoinDesk, Coinify CEO Hans Henrik Heming framed the new company as a natural pursuit for himself as an established entrepreneur and bitcoin advocate. Heming previously founded social software consultancy Wemind, social graph specialist Wosju and idea lab Fourmation.
Heming told CoinDesk:
"I read about bitcoin the first time in 2012 and have been looking at the industry in more detail since 2013. [Coinify] emerged from discussions, 'How can we make an entity that could cover more of what is necessary in terms of what the marketplace in Europe has to offer?'"
Earlier this week, Coinify announced a "multimillion-dollar" investment from Denmark-based VC firm SEED Capital, which is notably supported by Denmark's state investment fund, The Danish Growth Fund (Vækstfonden in Danish).
Neither Coinify or SEED Capital disclosed the full amount of the funding to CoinDesk, though SEED Capital wrote in its official blog post that the amount was "several million DKK".
Following the announcement, Heming said Coinify will close down the Bitcoin Nordic site, while BIPS will continue as a separate entity specializing in bitcoin technology development.
To begin, Coinify will focus on extending its buy and sell services to consumers and processing services to merchants. Coinify allows businesses to accept bitcoin and receive next-day settlement in euros, dollars and kroner, among other currencies.
Notably, Coinify also provides a plug-in for popular merchant-facing e-commerce platforms that will allow merchants that already use BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce to easily integrate bitcoin payments.
To enroll, consumers must first use an email address to create an account. From there, traders can buy bitcoin with bank deposits or via prepaid online and mobile phone payment method CASHU.
Merchants can also log into their accounts via Facebook, a feature not extended to those buying and selling on the platform.
With the desired capital and services secured, Coinify now aims to focus on growing its presence in its key target markets Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK, though Heming said Coinify is keen to establish itself across Europe.
In particular, Heming cited UK and Germany as significant markets due to their position as leaders in the e-commerce space. Further, he said Coinify aims to conduct market research in these areas as it looks to become more active in its approach to the market.
"What we have done so far has been a reactive approach and waiting for people to sign up. What we will do now with the funds will be to be much more active at acquiring merchants."
Evaluating the competition
Coinify will also face notable competition in the market from other brokerage services, such as those offered by Safello and Coinbase, the latter of which just recently entered 13 European markets after winning scores of merchants and consumers in the state.
Heming chooses to view these companies more as collaborators than competitors, suggesting that he believes there to be significant, untapped potential in the European market.
He told CoinDesk:
"I would like to talk to the Safello and Coinbase guys just for information. It could be interesting to discuss how we could go into the markets we want to enter."
However, this isn't to say that Coinify doesn't aim to differentiate itself from these players, as Heming hinted that his company aims to launch two additional services in the coming months.
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