BitPay Raises $30 Million in New Funding

ATLANTA — Bitcoin merchant processor BitPay has raised $30 million in funding, the largest ever financing round for a bitcoin-related company.

Started up in May 2011, BitPay rapidly ascended to become the largest merchant bitcoin payment processor. Its network currently has more than 30,000 merchants and processed $100 million in bitcoin payments in 2013.

Since its founding, BitPay also has welcomed and facilitated online adult-related transactions, and counts a rainbow of clients in the biz.

BitPay's CEO, Tony Gallippi, can often be heard on panel discussions at some of the adult business' top events, including those at XBIZ conventions and The Phoenix Forum.

Websites operated by The SCORE Group, Playboy Plus, VideosZ, Naughty America and offer bitcoin as a payment option through BitPay. Adult payment processor Verotel uses BitPay, and so does Mansion Productions. Mansion integrated its MPA3 affiliate management and tracking software with BitPay.

The $30 million round of funding was led by Index Ventures and counts as investors Virgin's Richard Branson, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Founders Fund, Felicis Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Horizons Ventures, RRE Ventures and TTV Capital.

Gallippi told CoinDesk this week that the new funding is both a validation of the explosive growth his company has seen over the past year and a way for BitPay to continue its success into the future.

“We have to continue to make our product more scalable,” Gallippi told CoinDesk. “What works for 1,000 merchants does not work for 100,000 merchants. We’ve got to continue to add new features to the platform, we’ve got to continue to build things that our merchants are asking for.”

He said the company will aggressively expand its international sales team, tripling its work force by adding 70 jobs worldwide to expand its reach.

“When we look at our product, clearly it’s a global product," he said. "We’re starting to get some traction in Europe — I’d say Europe is about 30 percent of our business right now — and we felt that it’s going to be really important to add more strategic investors in Europe.”

BitPay's $30 million round is the largest injection into cryptocurrency service providers. Competitor Coinbase secured $25 million in December, and wallet platform Xapo raised $20 million in March.