Investors in the seed round of the Bitcoin-based global payments app Bottlepay include billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard.
Bottlepay, a payments app bringing real-time global payments in Bitcoin and other currencies, has closed an £11m ($15m) seed funding round.
The app aims to cash in on the boom in digital payments by giving access to a real-time open payment network. This allows instant payments, including micropayments and cross border transactions.
While Bitcoin has c.65 million owners around the world there is a lack of use of the cryptocurrency for transactions owing to cumbersome and expensive fees.
Crypto bulls, however, believe this can change over time. Micropayments make a potential use case. For example, buying access to a paywalled news article from a global publication for a small amount would currently be prohibitive in terms of the merchant charges on the transaction.
“The payments ecosystem is undergoing monumental changes as we move towards a cashless society. Today’s consumer wants to be able to transact freely and easily, without the restrictions of a traditional bank. We believe that with this cash injection, we can build a leading company in this rapidly growing space which will allow people to send, spend and receive payments in a way that works best for them,” said Bottlepay’s CEO Mark Webster.
Bottlepay says its new app also enables seamless social payments with a single tweet, message or social media post on platforms such as Twitter, Reddit and Discord.
Built on Bitcoin protocols, Bottlepay users can buy, store, send and withdraw Bitcoin with a single slide, unlike other digital payment platforms, whose users cannot currently spend their Bitcoin.
Bottlepay will use the funding to expand its team, improve functionality and increase the geographical reach of the service over the coming year.
Investors taking part in the round include British billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard, venture capital firm FinTech Collective, and financial services firm NYDIG and tech entrepreneur Phil Doye.
Sean Lippel, Principal and Head of Digital Assets at FinTech Collective, said: “While nearly 65 million people own Bitcoin globally, only a small fraction of that number actually transact daily, meaning we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface on the broader payment use cases for Bitcoin as an open-source money network. We believe Bottlepay’s elegant and intuitive consumer interface, built strategically on top of the power of the Lightning Network, will unlock social, streaming, and micropayments for digital assets. We were attracted to the team’s unique combination of technical and design talent, bound together with a laser-focus on privacy and regulatory compliance”.