South African Bitcoin Exchange Expands Into Europe, Attracts $9M In Funding

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

South African bitcoin exchange, Luno, has expanded into Europe while attracting an additional investment of $9 million in a recent round of funding.

Luno announced that it was expanding its service offering to cater for an additional 35 markets in Europe, bringing its total number of territories to 40, according to BusinessTech.

The bitcoin exchange enjoyed a successful Series B funding round led by London-based venture capital firm Balderton Capital,  according to Htxt.

South African companies involved in this recent round of funding include AlphaCode, the fintech investment arm of Rand Merchant Investments, and original investors Digital Currency Group, providing Luno with funding to the amount of $9 million.

That investment follows on from Luno’s $4 million Series A round in 2015, which was led by Africa’s largest company, Naspers, Techcrunch reports.

Luno recently worked with South African payments tech firm Electrum to enable major supermarket chain Pick n Pay to accept bitcoin as a method of payment.

SA bitcoin exchange expanding globally

With offices in Cape Town, Singapore and London, Luno plans to double its current 70 staff in order to support the company’s ongoing expansion plans.

Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel expressed his excitement at partnering with the new investors, as well as the company’s expansion into Europe.

“We’re excited to partner with our new investors as we accelerate our business across Europe and the rest of the world,” said Swanepoel, according to IT-Online.

“In Europe we’ve seen an unprecedented demand, not just for digital currency, but also for our high-quality, secure and very user friendly products, in particular the Luno mobile apps,” he said.

“Enabling more people in Europe to have access to these products and services is a critical part of our mission to bring digital currencies to everyone, everywhere – and in a way that makes everyone’s journey into the world of digital currency safe, super easy and highly enjoyable,” he added.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen strong growth in digital currency awareness and adoption across both the consumer and institutional markets in South Africa. This is placing South Africa at the forefront of innovation in the global financial sector,” Swanepoel said.