Posted on Tuesday 21 October 2014 by Ulster Business

Bitnet bags 9m of funding

A Californian company with an office in Belfast has secured $14.5m (£9m) in venture capital funding to help drive its bitcoin-focused business.

Bitnet provides a platform for merchants and retailers to accept bitcoin payments and said it plans to grow its physical presence in continental Europe and Asia.

It has a staff of 27 based at its San Francisco and Belfast offices and was founded only in January 2014 by bosses John McDonnell and Stephen Mc Namara, both of whom have a background in payments technology and both of whom have worked for Cybersource.

The money has been raised primarily by Highland Capital Partners as well as Rakuten, the largest ecommerce site in Japan and one of the world’s largest ecommerce site by sales.

"John, Stephen, and the team they have assembled are the epitome of what we mean when we talk about partnering with innovative entrepreneurs who have the ambition to build disruptive, market-leading companies," said Peter Bell of Highland Capital Partners. "Bitnet is breaking down the barriers of digital currency transactions and has the potential to transform the way we exchange goods and services around the world."

Bitnet will provide merchants with guaranteed payment using bitcoins, instant global reach with no cross-border fees, no price volatility, and no fraud, risk or chargebacks. Its transaction fee is typically under 1%.

"We are listening to the world's largest merchants," said John McDonnell, Co-Founder & CEO, Bitnet. "Many of these bigger companies have looked at existing solutions and have remained on the sidelines -- until now. With Bitnet, we're building the integrations, systems and technologies that multi-national retailers and travel companies need in order to accept bitcoin.”

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