Bitcoin payments enabler Bitnet Technologies has secured $14.5 million in funding that it will use to fund a push into Asia and continental Europe.

Lead investors in the Series-A funding include Highland Capital Partners, Rakuten,  FinTech, Webb Investment Network, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., and Stephens Investment Management, and several other co-investors.

The funding will be used to further develop Bitnet's platform, hire sales, marketing and customer support staff and pursue future expansion goals, the company said in an Oct. 20 press release. Bitnet, whose current offices are located in San Francisco, California and Belfast, Northern Ireland, said it plans to expand "its physical presence into continental Europe and Asia."

Bitnet's staff includes 27 payments industry veterans with extensive technical and executive experience at CyberSource, which was sold to Visa for $2 billion in 2010, the company said. As part of this process Bitnet announced that Peter Bell, a partner at Highland Capital Partners, will join Bitnet's board of directors.

"We are listening to the world's largest merchants," said John McDonnell, co-founder and chief executive officer of Bitnet, in the press release. Bitnet is building scalable integrations, systems and technologies that multi-national retailers and travel companies need in order to accept Bitcoin, which also can be integrated with existing payment systems and commerce platforms.

Bitnet's platform includes "developer-focused RESTful hypermedia APIs and SDKs, an easy to implement hosted Checkout product and prebuilt integrations to key third party software systems," the company said, and will feature advanced analytics designed to help automate merchants accounting systems. Bitnet's transaction fee is below 1%, the company said.

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