|[August 25, 2014]
Korbit Raises $3 Million to Expand Bitcoin Adoption in Korea
SEOUL, South Korea --(Business Wire)--
Korea's leading bitcoin exchange, wallet and merchant processor, has
closed a $3 million Series A funding round led by SoftBank Ventures
Korea. Pantera Capital led the round from the US side, with
participation from BAM Ventures and previous investors Bitcoin
Opportunity Corp., Tim Draper, Pietro Dova and initial investor Strong
Ventures. Regarding the investor group, Korbit CEO Tony Lyu noted that,
"the leading investors in the Bitcoin space have chosen Korbit and
continue to show support."
Regarding the Korbit investment, SoftBank Ventures Korea Partner
Kangjoon Ryan Lee remarked, "The costs and security issues arising from
the reliance on financial intermediaries for credit guarantees has been
mitigated through Bitcoin's technological innovation. Bitcoin provides
big advantages in terms of cost savings and ease of use compared to
traditional currencies and credit cards. I expect Bitcoin to create
meaningful markets in payments and international remittance. Going
forward, Bitcoin can play a role in wider variety of industries, for
example enabling machine-to-machine transactions or acting as a platform
for smart contracts."
Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital, remarked, "South Korea has a
booming e-commerce market and was an early adopter of virtual goods. The
government supports innovation and even the banking foundation is
invested in Korbit. Pantera Capital is excited about the investment in
Korbit and confident that Bitcoin will thrive in Korea because of its
early adoption of innovative technologies and abundance of technical
talent," adding that, "Pantera believes that Bitcoin has the potential
to transform the way we use money. It will do for payments what the
Interet has done for communications and commerce."
Korbit introduced Bitcoin to Korea last year by opening the world's
first Bitcoin-Korean Won exchange. This year Korbit has started helping
merchants accept Bitcoin through their processing service Korbit Pay (https://pay.korbit.co.kr).
Said Korbit CEO Tony Lyu, "User excitement for Korbit Pay has vastly
exceeded our expectations," adding, "We'll be focusing on improving the
security and ease of use of our services with this new round of funding
and continue to bring in top talent from around the world."
Korbit started the world's first Bitcoin-Korean Won exchange in April
2013. Korbit has previously raised $600,000 mainly from angel investors
in Silicon Valley such as Tim Draper, Naval Ravikant and David Lee.
Korbit is comprised of professionals from leading firms such as IDEO,
UBS, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft (News - Alert) and the Korea Exchange. Visit www.korbit.co.kr.
About Korbit Pay
Korbit Pay is a merchant processing service for Bitcoin payments. Since
launching in June 2014, Korbit Pay has signed up 400 merchant accounts.
Offline merchants include Nescafe (coffee) in Gangnam and Natuur (ice
cream) in Pangyo, while online merchants include Hanintel (lodging
reservation) and News Peppermint (news translation). Said Korbit CEO
Tony Lyu, "User excitement for Korbit Pay has vastly exceeded our
expectations," adding, "customers who experience making a payment with
Bitcoin are generally surprised with the speed and convenience of the
transaction." Korbit Pay merchants are attracted to the service because
of the low fees and the potential to reach over 5 million Bitcoin users
around the world. Visit pay.korbit.co.kr.
About SoftBank Ventures Korea
SoftBank Ventues Korea is a venture capital firm owned by SoftBank Corp.
Formed in 2000, they operate a $300 million fund and have invested in
over 170 promising startups. They focus on internet services and
platforms, mobile services, digital contents and education. Previous
investments include Alibaba, Nexon and DramaFever. Visit www.softbank.co.kr/en/.
About Pantera Capital
Pantera Capital is an investment firm focused exclusively on Bitcoin,
other digital currencies, and companies in the space. Bitcoin is an
entirely new thing - a "post-currency" ledger - that is borderless,
secure, low-cost, and which allows virtually instantaneous payment and
Pantera was founded in 2003 by Dan Morehead, who was chief financial
officer and head of Macro Trading at Tiger Management. Visit www.panteracapital.com.
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