Bringing Its Bitcoin Wallet, Exchange And Services To Europe Luno Raises $9M
Know more about Luno and how investors view ICOs. This is a bit complicated yet challenging discussion.
The Case Of Luno
The recent crypto that has been riding the crypto wave into Europe is Luno, the Bitcoin wallet and exchange based out of Singapore after it closed a $9 million Series B round for market expansion with the funding led by new investor Balderton Capital with participation from existing backer Digital Currency Group. It was then that South Africa’s AlphaCode which is a new arrival on the cap table joining the deal which takes Luno formerly called BitX to $ 13.8 million raised to date.
Leading the $ 4million investment was the major league investor Naspers that hails from South Africa. These backers throw their weight behind those products including a Bitcoin wallet for storing cryptocurrencies as well as an exchange to buy them and merchant services enabling banks and retailers to work with Bitcoin. In particular, Luno in South Africa has worked with the likes of Pick N Pay while it was among the first batch let into the FCA’s Regulatory Sandbox, in London.
How Is It Faring In The Crypto Market?
It was said that Luno led the money go towards bringing those services to 35 new countries in Europe with offices in Singapore, Cape Town, and London planning double the current headcount of 70 staff supporting the new sprint taking its services to a total of 40 countries worldwide. Even though the expansion sounds quite trivial it is as you probably know there are not a lot of companies offering these kinds of services in Europe while it certainly not in a very mass-market, user-friendly, and particularly with a really good mobile product coupled with good customer service according to Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel.
He added that as they expand the team and grow in these countries they will be rolling out more deposit methods as the country localization is being already worked on. While Bitcoin has been a tear, the cryptocurrency’s value against the US dollar reached new heights as it reached $ 2000 for the first time before surging to $ 3000 and then $ 4000. As the Bitcoin touched $ 5000 on some exchanges before a ban on trading in China and other market uncertainties seeing the price decline around $4000 as of today.
Taking into account these developments are viewed as despite that volatility, the companies and investors keep seeing the potential for digital currency, particularly around cross border transfers as also Bitcoin and the blockchain infrastructure along with those operational opportunities for the banking industry. Where the world’s second most popular crypto coin, Ethereum emerged as a platform for developers, it is beyond helping companies raising money via ICOs.
Founders Are Saying ICOs Aren’t Just About Raising Lots Of Money
The co-founder of Bancor Network which raised over $ 150 million via an ICO, Eyal Hertzog told an audience that a token sale was considered to be the first step to creating new kinds of businesses that can sustain themselves independently almost like a nonprofit. He explained that a lot of people confuse ICOs with fundraising as both have to do with funding new ventures however they are very different. He continues that if you want to compare an ICO to something that they know about, it simply like someone going to a country and buying the currency of that country in the hope that he economy grows and the currency appreciates. Adding to it he says that it’s not like owning a share in a company, it’s owning a token in a specific economy calling those ICO online economies as this is a model they never had before as also never could have done it.
Similar to this comment was made by Omise CEO Jun Hasegawa with a company raising $ 25million developing a decentralized payment network called Omise Go where it can most obviously handle the transfer of money but also other digital assets well suited to an ICO because of the token slots into the business.
Pantera Capital’s Dan Morehead was speaking from an investor perspective as the firm operates a $100 million fund for ICOs saying the implementation and usage of a token is a thereby a critical signal to help identify the promising investments among a field where it is buzzy speculative and very busy. He said that they were looking for projects where the token is necessary for the function of the network.
The Final Thoughts
Talking about them it is no easy task to find the best business model utilizing a token in a valuable manner as both ICO companies spent considerable time exploring blockchain and Ethereum technologies long before they had developed the product vision as well as the token sale. As Hasegawa explains even before the ICO they hired a lot of people they have been working on this for a long time adding Omise has donated to the Ethereum Foundation.