Mercado Bitcoin, the largest Bitcoin exchange in Brazil, announced on Thursday the closure of a BRL 200 million (around $38 million) funding round and revealed its plans for international expansion.
The funding round was led by local private equity firm, GP Investimentos and early-stage venture capital, Parallax Ventures along with the participation from several other parties, mostly from the local market.
Founded in 2013, the exchange built itself into becoming the largest Bitcoin exchange in Brazil. It doubled its customer base in the past two years, reaching 2.2 million, according to the exchange. Additionally, trading volume remained impressive, with BRL 6.4 billion in the entire 2020 and exceeding half of that alone this month.
“We want to develop the crypto ecosystem in Brazil and create a market as developed as that of the United States. To do this, we want to be one of the five largest digital exchanges in the world,” Reinaldo Rabelo, CEO of Mercado Bitcoin, said.
The exchange is now aiming to surpass 3 million users by the end of 2021.
Expanding into the Latin American Markets
With the growing demand for digital currencies, Mercado Bitcoin is now planning for further expansion in Latin American countries with locally formed entities. It already has some international presence, but those operating are being maintained under the Brazilian company.
Apart from the expansion plans, the exchange will use the fresh proceeds in expanding its products. Further, it will invest in its Bitrust, custodian platform and digital wallet, Meubank, which is seeking central bank approval.
“We are already the largest exchange in Latin America, operating almost exclusively in Brazil,” Rabelo added. “Now, we’re going to look at the other markets, like Chile, Mexico, and Argentina, which have a regulatory culture closer to ours.”
“Our long-term purpose is to participate in the construction of a new infrastructure for the financial market (IMF), based on blockchain, smart contracts and crypto assets.”