Bitcoin payments services startup Paymium has raised €1m in new seed funding from investors including Newfund and Kima Ventures.
Founded in 2011, Paris-based Paymium, while not a marquee name in its sector, has so far garnered notable partnerships with online fashion retailer Showroomprive – then the largest merchant in Europe – and point-of-sale solution provider Ingenico.
Despite the success in its home market, however, Paymium president and co-founder Pierre Noizat suggested the funding round was perhaps lower than it would have been if the company had been focused on the US market.
Noizat told CoinDesk:
“In the US, bitcoin awareness and venture capital funds are much more available. I think there is a tendency in the press to overestimate bitcoin awareness outside English speaking countries. There’s a lot to be done in Europe.”
Noizat said Paymium intends to spread awareness in major European economies by expanding its payment, exchange and application services to more regional markets.
As part of the expansion, Noizat said Paymium will likely grow its team to 12 members by the end of next year, up from eight today. Noizat added Paymium believes it’s too early to concentrate the efforts of these workers on one specific service, however.
“It’s hard to say which is our primary business, we don’t know yet whether bitcoin will be a mass market payment method for individuals or blockchain tech applications,” he continued. “We want to be full-service.”
The news comes amid an increasingly active time in the European bitcoin payments sector, following the 12th August announcement Denmark-based Coinify had acquired rival Coinzone.
By far the largest startups serving the European merchant market, however, are based in the US, with Coinbase and BitPay having both expanded to the market in the last year.
Still, Noizat said Paymium is interested in collaborating with these groups, and believes it will have a competitive advantage given it is headquartered in Europe.
“We feel good because the ground is very vast, tens of thousands of merchants have yet to adopt bitcoin, so we welcome big players pushing bitcoin to more merchants.”