Crypto and fiat currency banking platform Wirex bags $3m

Crypto and fiat currency banking platform Wirex Limited has raised $3m in Series A funding from Japanese financial services firm SBI Group.

The London-based startup offers pre-paid virtual and plastic cards that can be topped up with both crypto and fiat currencies.

Wirex now counts more than 500,000 customers across more than 130 counties and is currently in the process of gaining an e-money license in the UK.

The company also has office in Tokyo and Kiev and sees the Japanese market as a key source of future growth.

Co-founder Pavel Matveev said: “Japan is a key market for bitcoin-compatible financial products and services, and one of our fastest-growing customer base.

“We are delighted to have this strategic partnership with the SBI Group. Together we can push bitcoin adoption in the Asia-Pacific region to the next level.”

The investment comes from the FinTech-dedicated fund SBI Group established in 2015.

Wirex’s co-founder Dmitry Lazarichev said: “The SBI Group has a clear vision and in-depth understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

“We have been selective in the process of looking for the right investor, and finding the best possible fit is important for us. Our customers will greatly benefit from this collaboration.”

Wirex will invest the capital in developing new features such as contactless bitcoin payments, contactless cards, additional currencies and new bitcoin-based financial products.

The funding will also be used for licensing, security and expansion plans.

The company previously raised $186,600 in an equity crowdfunding round in March 2015.

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