With aspirations of becoming a Swiss bank, Zug-based fintech startup Bitcoin Suisse has announced its first-ever fundraise, a Series A round that has garnered CHF 20 million (€19 million) from ‘friends and family’ so far. Led by Swiss banker Roger Studer and the Studer family office, the round will remain open until mid-June 2020, accepting contributions from “qualified, accredited, and professional investors” at a CHF 250,000 (€237,500) minimum.
Founded in 2013, the crypto-finance startup provides trading, prime brokerage, custody, lending, staking, tokenisation and other services to private, institutional and corporate clients. Headquartered in Zug, the 145-person team also works from offices in Copenhagen and Vaduz, Lichtenstein. The company currently has CHF 54 million in capital at its disposal, which co-founder Nikla Nikolajsen says has been “gathered through many years of retained earnings” and is insufficient to fuel future plans. “Looking forward, we could face limitations as to the speed of our growth, as we see great demand for collateralized loans, liquidity provision – and an ever increasing need to secure our on-balance client deposits through Swiss bank guarantees,” he said. Fellow co-founder and current CEO Dr. Arthur Vayloyan added, “As Bitcoin Suisse transitions into becoming a Swiss bank, company equity solidly above CHF 100 million will provide a strong and profitable balance sheet. The Series A round opens the way to greatly accelerate and grow the business volume of Bitcoin Suisse, as well as its profitability.” The Swiss company began the banking license process in October 2019. With the new funding, it hopes to secure cross-border licenses as well.
Photo: Lead investor Roger Studer with co-founders Arthur Vayloyan and Niklas Nikolajsen