Austria gets its first unicorn as Bitpanda reaches $1.2bn valuation

16 Mar 2021

Image: © fox17/Stock.adobe.com

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures has led the $170m Series B round in the Vienna-based cryptocurrency and digital assets trading company.

Riding the recent cryptocurrency wave, Austria’s Bitpanda has raised $170m at a valuation of $1.2bn.

The Series B round was led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, which is backing the Vienna-based crypto trading platform again after its $52m funding round last year. Partners from DST Global also contributed to the new round.

Bitpanda describes itself as a ‘neobroker’ for the trading of digital assets but also traditional assets like precious metals. According to the company, it now has 2m users.

The likes of Bitpanda have benefitted from the recent surges in interest in cryptocurrency and retail investing in stocks, after the GameStop rally at the start of the year.

With the new funding in tow, it plans to expand the types of investments on its platform and reach more markets in Europe. Earlier this month, it secured a licence in Austria to operate as an investment firm.

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This latest investment makes Bitpanda Austria’s first $1bn start-up or ‘unicorn’.

“Becoming Austria’s first unicorn is a great achievement, and I’m incredibly proud of the team for everything we have accomplished over the past few years,” chief executive Eric Demuth said.

“It is yet another endorsement in our vision to give everyone more access and greater control over their financial future, on their terms, no matter their financial means.”

The company told TechCrunch that it is profitable and that it expects to pass $100m in revenue in the first few months of this year.

Cryptocurrency is having a moment of late with bitcoin surging to a record high of more than $60,000 this week, though it has dipped below since given its volatile nature.

The uptick has seen more and more cryptocurrency companies gain prominence, with exchange Coinbase due to make its stock market debut soon at a reported valuation of $100bn, while companies like Tesla and Square have invested directly in bitcoin this year.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

editorial@siliconrepublic.com