Reid Hoffman and Mike Volpi join Matt Cohler as board observers
Today I’m excited to announce that Xapo has raised $20 million in Series A-1 funding. This round of funding was led by Greylock Partners and Index Ventures, with additional investments by Emergence Capital Partners, Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal, Internet investor Yuri Milner, and Jerry Yang, founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures and co-founder of Yahoo!. These investors join earlier backers Benchmark, Fortress Investment Group, and Ribbit Capital who invested $20 million in Series A funding in March.
In total, we have now raised $40 million. We are very optimistic about what this represents, not only for Xapo, but also for the bitcoin ecosystem as a whole.
Additionally, we are also excited to announce that Reid Hoffman and Mike Volpi will be joining Matt Cohler as Xapo’s board observers. Both Reid and Mike have a proven history of recognizing emerging technologies before they reach the masses and both have ushered innovations from ideation to implementation to widespread adoption. We look forward to working with them as we strive to bring bitcoin to consumers everywhere.
Looking ahead, we will continue to invest the funds in building our team and our suite of services. We are committed to developing the framework that allow bitcoins to be used by consumers in their everyday lives while also continuing to offer highly secure bitcoin storage for Wall Street funds, exchanges, and financial institutions handling bitcoins.
Throughout my career in consumer-focused financial technology, I have never experienced anything that has piqued the interest of the financial community - and my own - quite like bitcoin. I’m particularly impressed by how quickly the bitcoin ecosystem has started to evolve. It is clear that the industry is being led by a new generation of businesses, driven by experienced entrepreneurs focusing on security and usability and backed by world class venture capitalists like our investors.
Let us keep in mind that it’s important not to be short-sighted when examining bitcoin. Today, bitcoin is used primarily as a store of value. Soon, it will be a payment mechanism. In the near future it will be a unit of account. We are thankful to be a part of the journey and the ecosystem.
Xapo Founder and CEO
In the spirit of bringing bitcoin to the masses, we are proud to announce the Xapo Debit Card – the first bitcoin debit card that allows users to spend bitcoins just like cash all over the world, right from their Xapo Wallet.
Xapo Debit functions like a traditional debit card and is a big step forward in the development of the bitcoin infrastructure – for the first time, customers have the ability to use bitcoin at any online or offline merchant that accepts debit or credit cards.* This makes it easy for users to pay with bitcoins in real-time and makes it seamless for merchants to accept payment. After a customer makes a payment using bitcoin, the merchant will receive the funds in their local currency.
This is a major improvement to cards already on the market, which are effectively “prepaid” cards that require the customer to manually convert their bitcoin into their local currency before making a purchase.
The mission of Xapo is to provide a system that is both convenient and secure. We offer our fully-insured Vault with the security needed for confident bitcoin savings combined with our easy-access Wallet. The Xapo debit card provides users a new, simpler way to access bitcoins and use them for everyday transactions.
We continue to believe that for bitcoin to develop as a global payment network, it’s the responsibility of companies like Xapo to create the infrastructure and tools necessary to give people the experience and true advantages of bitcoin. Xapo Debit lets users make purchases in a way that is very similar to using a traditional debit card. And we’ve made it simple for customers to spend their bitcoins at millions of businesses around the world without a merchant needing to accept bitcoin. It’s convenient for users, and easy for merchants.
This is one of many innovations we are working on this year. Our goal at Xapo is simple – to expand upon the existing infrastructure of the bitcoin network and provide the public with the tools to take full advantage of bitcoin.
Beginning today, you can sign up for the Xapo Debit on xapo.com. We anticipate shipping the debit cards beginning in two months.
Xapo Founder and CEO
*Xapo has relationships with banks in the US and Europe that issue and process the debit cards. The payment network (Mastercard, Visa, etc.) that will be used by the Xapo debit card is not yet determined and will depend on the bank. There is no relationship between Xapo and the payment network; rather there is a relationship between Xapo and the card-issuing banks.
Over the past several years, Bitcoin has taken people on a wild ride. It has grown from the realm of early adopters who took a leap of faith on digital currency to become part of daily conversation amongst retailers, regulators, and consumers, among others. As it evolved, we recognized two key themes people continually asked the Bitcoin industry to address: trust and accessibility. That’s why we built Xapo – the industry’s first Bitcoin company to offer online and offline security, coupling a fully-insured cold storage vault with a convenient wallet.
By offering both a Bitcoin wallet and vault in one secure place, we’re marrying the ease-of-use Bitcoin users want for everyday needs with the security they require for confident Bitcoin savings.
Trusted, Secured and Insured
At Xapo, we understand that Bitcoin’s ultimate success will be based on trust – both in the currency itself and in the industry’s security and service providers. We’ve assembled a team of financial and security experts with a proven track record of building trusted financial products. Our team has been at the forefront of digital banking and has founded companies acquired by some of the world’s largest banks, and most recently created Lemon Wallet (acquired by LifeLock). With this combined expertise and experience, we’ve developed best-in-class Bitcoin storage with the Xapo Vault.
Xapo’s vault keeps your Bitcoin savings in total lockdown using layer after layer of proprietary security protocol, including man, machine, and even a mountain, to keep your bitcoins locked away in cold storage until you – and only you – want to access them. Think of it like a safe deposit box at your bank.
In the highly unlikely event that something does happen to your bitcoins in the Xapo Vault, and it wasn’t your fault, rest assured that they are fully insured, backed by Meridian Insurance. If any wrongdoing occurs that’s out of your control, we will fully refund your bitcoins.
Convenient, Everyday Access
While long-term, secure storage is an incredibly important part of using Bitcoin, we know that’s only part of the picture. Bitcoin is first and foremost a currency, and what good is that money if you can’t use it? That’s why we’re also offering an easy-to-use wallet for everyday access to the bitcoins you want to spend.
Unlike traditional digital wallets, Xapo Wallet has no fees, no delays, and no geographic limitations. That means you can move bitcoins when you want and where you want with the click of a button – whether it’s transferring money to family around the world, buying your cup of coffee at your local cafe, or paying the electrician.
And we’ve designed the process of transferring bitcoins between you vault and wallet to be simple and secure – as the industry’s first combined wallet and vault solution, Xapo is your trusted one-stop shop.
Building for the Future
We’re excited to bring Xapo to Bitcoin users and we welcome you to open your free account today. But we’re even more driven by what’s to come as Bitcoin adoption continues to grow. That’s why today we’re also announcing $20 million in Series A funding led by Benchmark, with Fortress Investment Group and Ribbit Capital. We’re proud to work alongside some of the best backers in the venture capital and financial industries. We envision a long and adventurous journey ahead and believe our new partners have strengthened our team and widened the opportunity for Bitcoin’s growth.
When I first learned of Bitcoin, I immediately saw the promise and utility of the currency and platform. I grew up in Argentina, where at times the economy experienced 12,000% annual inflation. I believe that a digital currency like Bitcoin could solve the disjointed nature of our world economy. We’re thrilled to have partnered with industry-leading investors who share our belief and vision, and will help us make it a reality.
Xapo Founder and CEO