ShapeShift, the world’s leading instant exchange for Bitcoin digital currency and other blockchain assets, today announced the completion of its $10.4m Series A funding round. Led by Berlin-based Earlybird, the financing is the largest ever for a non-fiat financial exchange.
Other new investors include Lakestar, Access Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, and Blockchain Capital. Prior ShapeShift backers FundersClub, Digital Currency Group and Erik Voorhees, the company’s founder and CEO, also participated. The funds will be mainly used for further expansion of the team to keep up with its rapid growth, and to release two groundbreaking exchange products in 2017.
With the market cap of blockchain tokens now in the tens of billions of dollars, ShapeShift helps customers convert between them. The digital asset exchange has grown an average of 48 percent per month since launching just under three years ago. The company operates under a strict “no fiat” policy, meaning only legitimate blockchain-based assets are permitted on the platform.
“ShapeShift’s team built a compelling crypto exchange engine which can be easily integrated into third-party products given its unique trustless design,” said Christian Nagel, partner at Earlybird. “It is uncommon to find the powerful combination of a noted serial Bitcoin entrepreneur, a senior team with deep industry knowledge, and a strong vision as the one present at ShapeShift.”
Founded in mid-2014, ShapeShift is the fastest and safest way for both humans and machines – such as trading bots and IoT devices – to exchange any asset that exists on a public blockchain. The company pioneered the concept of “protection by design,” building the first exchange that didn’t require the exposure of sensitive customer data.
Unlike other exchanges, ShapeShift doesn’t hold customer assets or information, a feature that is impossible in traditional finance. This sets a new standard in consumer protection that the largest banks haven’t been able to achieve in a hundred years.
“When we started ShapeShift, a future world of natively digital assets was very theoretical,” said Erik Voorhees, founder and CEO of ShapeShift.
“Yet this world is quickly arriving; one in which millions of forms of digital value, from access keys to tokenized derivative contracts to video game items, will trade between people and machines all over the world, every second of every day. Just as information has gone natively digital, so too now goes value. Bitcoin taught a skeptical world how to do it, and the gold rush is on.”
The ShapeShift platform currently supports more than 40 leading digital currencies and assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Augur’s Rep token, and Monero. Any of these assets may be sold for any other, thus over 1,080 direct trading pairs are supported, more than any other blockchain-based exchange.
“Pantera believes in a future where myriads of digital assets will facilitate innovative use cases and products,” said Paul Veradittakit, partner at Pantera.
“ShapeShift has done a tremendous job providing a seamless way to exchange such assets, and is spearheading this vision with upcoming financial products. Most importantly, we invested in ShapeShift because of our confidence in Erik, whom we’ve known for a while and has demonstrated the leadership and qualities to succeed in this space.”