Europe gains access to bitFlyer
Cross-border trading assists traders working with large amounts, because the increased liquidity enables the swifter delivery of trades. It also minimizes the gap between seller and buyer prices and reduces slippage risk.
The new move makes bitFlyer the first cryptocurrency exchange in the world to facilitate operations in Japan, America and Europe.
Launched in 2018, bitFlyer Europe is a subsidiary of bitFlyer Inc, which is one of the best-established cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. A trusted entity in terms of licensing and reliability, it was recently hailed as one of only ten Japanese exchanges to present authentic trading volumes.
Cross-border trading has historically posed difficulties to foreign traders, due to users not being able to subscribe to Japanese exchanges. bitFlyer’s new drive now allows access to BTC/JPY via the current bitFlyer Europe account. This means it is no longer necessary to create several accounts across numerous exchange platforms.
bitFlyer Europe’s COO, Andy Bryant, explained, “The launch of bitFlyer’s cross-border trading is revolutionary for the cryptocurrency industry and a huge milestone for us. Before now, it’s been virtually impossible for traders with Euros to participate in the BTC/JPY trading pair without going through multiple extra steps and/or sign up processes, bringing unwanted inconvenience and delays.”
Japan is currently home to the biggest global bitcoin market. An estimated 20% trading volume of the global national currencies (BTC to FIAT) is pitched against the Japanese Yen. Furthermore, bitFlyer already handles over 70% of JPY trading.
Yuzo Kano, Founder of bitFyler Group and Chairman of bitFlyer Europe, said; “bitFlyer’s objective has always been to create a truly global cryptocurrency trading platform that allows users to benefit from the scale, depth and liquidity of one, single marketplace. Liquidity is a constant challenge for cryptocurrency markets and is essential to ensure the future growth and sustainability of BTC and the cryptocurrency industry. Today’s announcement is a huge step forward in that regard.”
Payment startup Mollie raises US$800m at a $6.5bn valuation
Mollie, one of the fastest-growing payment processors within Europe, today announced it has raised US$800m in a Series C funding round, now valuing the company at $6.5bn. The valuation, based on Dealroom data, makes Mollie the third most valuable privately-held European fintech behind Klarna and Checkout.com.
Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business, led the investment and included participation from EQT Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital and Alkeon Capital. TCV who led the Series B investment in September 2020 also participated in the funding round.
According to the company, the funding will fuel Mollie’s international expansion, team scaling, and continued investment in product and engineering.
“There’s something very special about Mollie. In the three months since I joined the team we’ve achieved so much: making preparations for a full launch in the UK, driving 600% growth in Germany and hiring an impressive set of team members and executives,” said Shane Happach, CEO, Mollie. “Over the past months, Mollie has been receiving a remarkable amount of interest from some of the world’s foremost fintech investors. In bringing on BXG, we believe we have an investor who can help Mollie in our next phase of growth. The involvement of our new group of investors demonstrates confidence in Mollie’s growth, strategy and product set.”
The Amsterdam-based business was launched in 2004, and is one of the largest PSPs in Europe. Today, it serves more than 120,000 monthly active merchants of all sizes across the continent. During 2020, Mollie processed more than 10 billion Euros in transactions and is on track to handle more than 20 billion Euros during 2021.
“Mollie is one of Europe’s most exciting high-growth businesses and is at the forefront of enabling next-generation payments for online SMEs across Europe. We are excited to partner with Mollie’s fantastic team and look forward to leveraging Blackstone’s capital, expertise and global network to unlock the company’s next phase of growth,” said Paul Morrissey, who leads European investing for Blackstone Growth. “This investment underlines Blackstone’s confidence in Europe as a place for high-growth companies to thrive.”
In Europe, FinTech app usage grew by 72% directly after the pandemic outbreak, while the top seven digital banks in the US grew their cumulative user base by 39% throughout the year. Competition in payments has grown over the past few years with fintech players like Stripe, Square and Netherlands-based Adyen all competing for a bigger share of the market.
Unlike its American rivals, Mollie says it mainly focuses on transactions with small businesses in Europe. Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie said: “A lot of the bigger players in online payments come out of the US, like PayPal,”. Adding that even Visa and Mastercard are US companies.
“A lot of investors don’t have a bet on Europe,” Happach said. “Mollie’s one of those unique assets that offers exposure.