Bitcoin ATM operator Coinme raises $1.5M from Ripple, VC fund


Seattle-based Bitcoin kiosk and ATM provider Coinme has raised $1.5 million in a Series A-1 financing round that included Ripple subsidiary Xpring and the newly-established Blockchain Finance Fund.

“We are bolstered by this vote of confidence by Ripple and Blockchain Finance Fund in our vision and the exciting opportunity to provide access to digital currencies for millions of people around the world,” Neil Bergquist, co-founder and CEO of Coinme, said in a press release. 

Xpring (pronounced “spring”) is Ripple’s San Francisco-based investment and development arm. It was originally intended to provide support to startups and projects that make use of the digital asset XRP and the open-source XRP Ledger — blockchain technology with which Ripple has built tools aimed at enterprise businesses. It’s not clear if this means Coinme will be offering XRP at its bitcoin ATMs and kiosks.  

In speaking with Coindesk, Bergquist said Coinme raised $4.5 million in total in its previous financing, including $3.5 million in convertible debt, partly from partner Coinstar over the last few years, and $1.5 million from a venture fund in early 2017. 

However, that is not taking into account the more than $10 million the company raised in a late 2017 initial coin offering in exchange for 8 billion Uptokens, a digital asset that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the Uptoken whitepaper, customers receive a 30% discount on ATM transaction fees if they choose to use their UpToken to pay the transaction fee. 

Coinme said it plans to use its latest cash infusion to expand its footprint in the U.S — Bergquist told CoinDesk the company is licensed to operate in 29 U.S. states — and move into markets in Europe, Central and South America. Additionally, the startup also plans to integrate key features into its online wallet to serve retail demand for using digital currencies for payments, remittances and as a trusted store of value. 

In April 2014, the same year it was founded, Coinme became the first Bitcoin ATM provider with a money transmitters license installing a unit in Seattle, Washington. Earlier this year, the startup integrated its services with Coinstar, a maker of kiosks that turn loose change into cash and gift cards. A number of Coinstar kiosks now allow customers to exchange bills and coins for a code sent to their mobile device that can be used to redeem up to $2,500 of crypto. Once Coinme acquires regulatory approval to operate in other states, it can enable the ability to buy cryptocurrencies at Coinstar kiosks in those states.  

In partnership with Coinstar, Coinme now oversees a network of 2,583 crypto kiosks across the U.S.  

According to Coin ATM Radar, a site that tracks the bitcoin ATM market, there are now more than 5,500 bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. Earlier this year, Bitcoin kiosk operator LibertyX crossed 1,000 locations under service.



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