NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — In operation for just over one year, BitPesa, the Nairobi-based remittance service, has closed a $1.1 million follow-on round of funding. The bitcoin to Kenyan shilling (KES) remittance service has also begun offering sales of bitcoin in Kenya and Ghana.
This latest raise was led by Pantera Capital Management LP with support from Crypto Currency Partners LP, Stephens Investment Management LLC and existing shareholders: the Bitcoin Opportunity Corporation and Future/Perfect Ventures, among others.
Dan Morehead of Pantera Capital Management will join BitPesa’s board of directors. The company says it will use the funding to expand “across the region to meet the demand for truly low-cost international transfers.”
“We have been inspired by getting to know our customers,” said Elizabeth Rossiello, founder and CEO in a statement. “Our average trade amount increases daily and each user is trading more frequently every month – we are seeing real traction. BitPesa is also working with international businesses in the region, such as Give Directly, which has just sent its first trade through our platform. Last month we started selling bitcoins and that has been well received by Kenyan and Ghanaian small businesses needing to make payments abroad. We have had to hire an additional trading assistant to handle our January volumes despite this being a beta soft launch.”
Rossiello says the company will also offer bitcoin brokerage services in Tanzania and Uganda within the next few weeks.