Abra, a startup that has developed a mobile bitcoin remittance app, announced this week that it has closed a $12 million Series A financing round, raising over $14 million in venture financing.
Participants in the “oversubscribed” round include Arbor Ventures, RRE Ventures and First Round Capital.
Abra’s mobile app permits users to deposit and transfer bitcoins on their smartphone. The app relies on a peer-to-peer network of “human ATMs” called Abra Tellers, who are individuals or businesses that earn money by buying and selling digital cash to and from any consumer via the Abra App. For users, there are no transfer fees, and no bank account is required.
The startup indicates that it will soon make the Abra App available in its initial launch markets. To date, pre-registrations for consumers and Tellers have come from over 80 countries.
Wei Hopeman of Arbor Ventures commented:
Arbor sees huge potential for the Abra business model globally, but especially in China and Southeast Asia, which are traditionally large cash economies but leapfrogging into mobile payments and bypassing traditional banking and card infrastructure at an accelerating rate. Making cash mobile will unlock a lot of opportunities in these markets and across the region.
An investor in several digital currency companies, RRE Ventures Managing Partner and Abra Co-Founder Jim Robinson believes Abra has potential to disrupt the global money transfer market.
As early proponents of Blockchain technology, we believe that Abra is one of the companies that’s fully leveraging the potential of the technology by reducing friction in financial services. It’s not about Bitcoin for the sake of Bitcoin – it’s about how the technology can solve problems for consumers worldwide, even if they don’t know what the Blockchain is.
Abra investors include Arbor Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Carthona Capital, Cyanotype, Digital Currency Group, First Round Capital, Future Perfect Ventures, Haystack, Jungle Ventures, The Launch Fund, Lehrer Hippeau Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, NYCA, Pantera Capital, and RRE Ventures.
It has been an excellent week for blockchain technology in terms of venture capital investment, with more than $45 million in funding raised. Four other blockchain companies revealed their funding successes, namely digital assets play Chain with $30 million from Visa, Citi, Nasdaq, others; data analytics provider Coinalytics with $1.1 million from The Hive; hardware wallet Case with $1 million from Future/Perfect Ventures; and authenticity platform Chronicled with $1.4 Million from Colbeck, Mandra Capital, Pantera Capital, Social Starts and NFL player Marshawn Lynch.