Fintech payments startup raises $15 million in seed funding

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  • Payments startup Bottlepay has raised $15 million in seed funding. 
  • The UK-based startup previously shuttered due to regulatory issues but has re-launched.
  • “We believe the move to mass adoption of BTC is really in full swing,” CEO Mark Webster said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Payments startup Bottlepay is back from the dead as it looks to take advantage of surging interest in cryptocurrencies.

Newcastle, UK-based Bottlepay allows users to buy, store, send and withdraw bitcoin with a single slide and has raised $15 million in seed funding.

The fresh round was led by billionaire hedge fund manager and Brevan Howard Asset Management cofounder Alan Howard, alongside unnamed partners from Goldman Sachs, FinTech Collective and NYDIG.

Bottlepay gained attention previously for allowing users to send small amounts of Bitcoin using social media channels such as Telegram. The company shut down in December 2019, citing European Union money laundering regulations which came into place in January 2020. Prior to that the company had raised $2 million.

The first version of the company shut down after it realized the scope of its operations would not fit within EU regulations.

Bottlepay’s focus is now on micro payments with newly recruited CEO Mark Webster working alongside head of compliance and financial crime, Lianne Dodds. Bottlepay currently has a temporary registration with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

“We suspended our web-based beta in December 2019 due to the impending crypto regulations in the UK and Europe coming into effect in January 2020. We thought it better to pause our offering rather than force a compliance remediation exercise on our users that they had not signed up for,” Webster said. He added that the firm had built new features, moving from web to app and is compliant with regulation to be a crypto asset business.”

The company will use the funding to continue hiring. Since the company’s relaunch, it claims to have grown its team by 200% and will hire aggressively in 2021 amid planned geographic expansion, Webster said. 

Bottlepay allows users to send money in traditional and crypto currencies and is unlike other digital payment platforms such PayPal and Revolut, whose users cannot currently spend nor withdraw Bitcoin, Webster added. 

“We believe the move to mass adoption of bitcoin is really in full swing,” Webster said. “As we bring more utility to bitcoin in the payments space, we aim to help in this transformation. Launching when Bitcoin is gaining so much interest and publicity can only help increase brand awareness and interest in our product.”

Check out Bottlepay’s pitch deck below:

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