By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 22 February 2017
German SME lending platform with bitcoin at its core looks to grow into new markets.
Bitbond, the small business loans marketplace built on bitcoin, has scooped $1.2m in equity funding from a number of angel investors. The backers included Fyber founders Janis Zech and Andreas Bodczek, in addition to Kreditech co-founder Alexander Graubner-Müller.
The cash will be used to continue growing a user-base which has already swollen to 76,000 people, from 120 countries, and for further product development. A particular emphasis will be placed on acquiring new users in markets that are underserved by the banks.
Bitbond is one of the few – perhaps the only – marketplace lender to have been built on bitcoin blockchain technology. Indeed, the firm claims to be the first regulated blockchain-based financial services provider in Germany, after clinching a regulatory licence from the German financial services supervisor BaFin in October 2016.
The platform works a lot like a bog-standard small business loans marketplace, with applicants vetted for suitability based on credit checks and revenue data. The typical borrowers are online vendors which operate on e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. Both individual and institutional investors may lend via the platform. The key difference of course is that the platform uses the bitcoin blockchain for payment processing, which it identifies as the key to making cross-border lending possible.
A cumulative total of $1.2m has been lent through the Bitbond platform since launch, spread across 1,600 loans.
“The additional resources will help us to continue realizing our mission which is to make lending and borrowing globally accessible,” said Bitbond founder & CEO Radoslav Albrecht. “We are happy to have such experienced investors supporting us on this exciting journey.”