Former Credit Suisse Group AG trader Nikolay Storonsky is getting $66 million from investors including Index Ventures to help grow his two-year-old banking startup in the U.S. and Asia and enabling it to offer cryptocurrency trading.
His London-based Revolut Ltd. raised the money in a round that included Balderton Capital and Ribbit Capital, according to a statement on Wednesday. Storonsky, 32, will use the funds to expand in Asia and North America, and let customers hold cryptocurrency. He also plans to gather $5 million in crowdfunding from consumers on Seedrs later this month.Source: Revolut
Revolut, which Russian-born Storonsky founded two years ago with former Deutsche Bank AG technology developer Vlad Yatsenko, makes money from fees on ATM withdrawals and takes a cut from merchant charges on payments in shops. As early as next week, it plans to let customers hold, exchange, spend and transfer virtual currencies such as bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum for free, profiting from the price differences between buyers and sellers as opposed to charging commission.
“Adding cryptocurrencies and the ability to buy and sell them is a big step forward for a financial organization,” Storonsky, who used to trade equity derivatives, said in an interview. “Big banks are looking at us and seeing what we’re doing, for future things they want to add to their product pipeline, but they’re very slow.”
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The cryptocurrency sector has lost about a third of its market value since peaking in early June, pushing it into what traditional equity market analysts label as a bear market. Bitcoin, the largest of the digital currencies, is down about 20 percent from its peak of $3,000, reached June 12. Smaller rivals such as ethereum are getting hit even harder.
Storonsky is among former bankers such as ex-JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive...