Mercado Bitcoin raises $200 million from SoftBank to take over Latin America

Rick Steves

Mercado Bitcoin’s client base has reached 2.8 million in 2021, with more than 70% of the entire individual investors base on Brazil’s stock exchange.

Mercado Bitcoin has raised $200 million from the SoftBank Latin America Fund, according to its parent company, 2TM Group.

It was the largest Series B round in Latin America’s history and SoftBank’s largest investment in a Latin America crypto company, with 2TM Group’s valuation at $2.1 billion USD: the eighth-most valuable unicorn in Latin America.

Mercado Bitcoin, which is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Latin America, plans to scale the business and offerings as well as invest in infrastructure to meet the soaring demand in the region.

Latin America is home to some of the most unstable countries in the world with respect to their financial and monetary policies. This was fertile soil for Bitcoin et al. right from the start. We’ve now reached a new milestone: El Salvador announced Bitcoin as legal tender.

Mercado Bitcoin’s client base has reached 2.8 million in 2021, with more than 70% of the entire individual investors base on Brazil’s stock exchange.

Approximately 700,000 new customers signed up to use Mercado Bitcoin’s services this year, already, which points to very healthy client onboarding numbers in 2021. Trade volume increased to $5 billion USD, surpassing the total for its first seven years combined.

The crypto operator plans to grow its team to 700 by the end of 2021, as well as accelerate growth across 2TM Group’s portfolio to include digital wallet provider MeuBank and launch Bitrust, the first digital custodian in Latin America.

Roberto Dagnoni, Executive Chairman and CEO of 2TM Group, said: “Millions of people around the world are realizing that digital assets and cryptocurrencies are both innovative technologies and efficient stores of value – Brazil is no exception to that trend.

“This series B round will afford us to continue investing in our infrastructure, enabling us to scale up and meet the soaring demand for the blockchain-based financial market. I am thrilled to have the SoftBank Latin America Fund support to help us to realize our vision, thanks to the unparalleled combination of their financial expertise, in-depth industry experience, and extensive regional footprint.”

Gustavo Chamati, Mercado Bitcoin’s Co-Founder and Board Member, commented: “Mercado Bitcoin and its sister companies have demonstrated both innovation and leadership in the space. As we’ve developed a scalable market infrastructure, we have become the most trusted crypto brand in Brazil.

“This unique positioning has allowed us to capitalize on the surging interest in cryptocurrencies in both Brazil and Latin America more broadly, resulting in the significant expansion of our market share in the past year and paving the way for continued growth.”

Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, said: “Thanks to Roberto and Gustavo’s vision, Mercado Bitcoin has become a global leader in the cryptocurrency space.

“We’ve been impressed by 2TM Group’s understanding of the Brazilian ecosystem, as well as their contribution to the evolving regulatory framework in Brazil, all of which have positioned it at the forefront of the Latin American blockchain revolution and as a defining player in the cryptocurrency explosion in Brazil. Cryptocurrencies have incredible potential in Latin America. We believe winning in Brazil is critical for 2TM Group and are excited to take part in this incredible journey.”

In 2019, 2TM Group became the first company in the world to tokenize public debt assets. Since then, the company tokenized or distributed private debt, carbon credits, and a variety of utility and DeFi tokens. The group is working with regulators to build a consistent framework for alternative digital investments in Brazil.

Mercado Bitcoin’s Series A round in January 2021 was co-led by G2D/GP Investments and Parallax Ventures, with participation from HS Investimentos, Gear Ventures, Évora and Genial.

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