(Bloomberg) -- Cryptocurrencies platform Abra has raised $55 million in a Series C funding round, the company announced Wednesday, as competition for users heats up across the industry.
The funding, led by Ignia and Blockchain Capital, included new investors such as Kingsway Capital, Tiga Investments and the Stellar Development Foundation, according to the statement. Additional money came from existing investors including Amex Ventures, Arbor Ventures and Kenetic Advisors. The funding round takes Abra’s valuation to around half a billion dollars.
Silicon Valley-headquartered Abra was founded in 2014 by Bill Barhydt, who previously worked at the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Netscape and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and whose LinkedIn page says he gave the first TED talk on Bitcoin in 2012.
Users can trade more than 100 different cryptocurrencies, earn interest and borrow dollars against holdings. Its revenues have increased more than 10-fold in the past year, the statement said.
The company said it plans to use the funds to develop its high net worth, institutional sales and wealth management offerings and boost marketing.
“The crypto asset class is growing exponentially, even outpacing the early commercial internet itself,” Barhydt, Abra’s chief executive officer, said.
The fundraise comes at a time of increased competition between cryptocurrency platforms as investing in digital coins becomes more mainstream. However, there is also an heightened regulatory focus on the sector. Last week, crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc. accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of “sketchy behavior” related to a warning that regulators may intervene over a not-yet-launched lending product.
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