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Cryptocurrency broker Bitpanda raises $263 million at $4.1 billion valuation

By Supantha Mukherjee

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Austrian cryptocurrency broker Bitpanda said on Tuesday it had raised $263 million at a valuation of $4.1 billion in a funding round led by Valar Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by billionaire Peter Thiel.

The new round more than triples the broker's valuation from March, when it raised $170 million at a valuation of $1.2 billion. British hedge fund manager Alan Howard, REDO Ventures, LeadBlock Partners and Jump Capital also invested in the current round.

While cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin witnessed vigorous price volatility, they are slowly getting adopted by bigger companies. That surge had pushed another crypto exchange Coinbase's valuation to as high as $112 billion when it made its market debut in April.

The fintech space has seen a lot of crazy valuations as, there are not many good companies and investors don't want to miss out, Bitpanda Chief Executive Officer Eric Demuth said.

"We are profitable for five years now, constantly, every year."

Bitpanda, which currently has 3 million users and presence in eight European countries, plans to aggressively expand into other countries this year.

Its platform offers users the flexibility to invest in a range of products such as fractional stocks, cryptocurrencies and precious metals — from as little as $1.

Demuth said the company has no current plans to go public yet but when it decides it would prefer the direct listing route just like companies such Coinbase, RobinHood and Wise.

"We will take our time in that regard."

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent, based in Stockholm; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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