There's a new Bitcoin wallet and vault provider in town, Xapo, launched by payments veteran Wences Casares with $20 million in funding from investors.
"Over the past several years, Bitcoin has taken people on a wild ride," says Casares in a March 13 blog post. "As it evolved, we recognized two key themes people continually asked the Bitcoin industry to address: trust and accessibility."
Casares was formerly the head of Lemon Inc. which developed the Lemon Wallet, a mobile wallet with an emphasis on security. In December LifeLock Inc., an identity theft protection provider, purchased Lemon for $42.6 million and rebranded its product as the LifeLock Wallet.
Casares built Xapo to offer an online Bitcoin wallet and cold-storage (offline) vault that will be fully insured by Meridian Insurance. The $20 million funding for Xapo is being led by Benchmark and includes Ribbit Capital and Fortress Investment Group.
Several companies have been working on creating insured Bitcoin accounts, including Elliptic, a wallet service in London insured through Lloyd's of London. Because bitcoin transactions are irreversible, users cannot easily recover their funds in the event of theft.
Before Lemon, Casares founded Bling Nation, a mobile payment company that enabled contactless payments using stickers adhered to consumers' phones. Bling Nation launched in 2008 and landed partnerships with PayPal and several banks before shutting down in 2011 after merchants resisted using its loyalty program.