Bitcoin Startup River Raises $35M in Round Joined by Thiel

River Finance, a Bitcoin startup backed by Peter Thiel, raised $35 million in a new equity funding round on Tuesday. The fresh funding round comes on amid a notably higher interest in bitcoin as more enterprises and institutions experiment with the crypto space.

Kingsway Capital Leads the Round

Bitcoin startup River announced on Tuesday it had secured $35 million in a Series B funding round led by Kingsway Capital. Other notable investors also participated in the round, including billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel, Goldcrest, M13, Cygni, Esas Ventures, Alarko Ventures, and Valor Equity Partners.

In the press release, River CEO Alex Leishman highlighted “another wave of Bitcoin interest,” fueled by growing business and institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies.

“This year’s bank failures and bailouts have been a wake-up call, revealing the cracks of the traditional financial system and reminding us why Bitcoin is so important—it’s a secure path to a stronger and more transparent global economy. “

– Leishman said in the statement.

Leishman added that adopting BTC with a reliable partner has become more prudent than speculative. The new financing round comes more than two years after River raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Goldcrest.

What Services Does River Offer?

Founded in 2019, River is a crypto startup providing a broad range of Bitcoin-related services such as brokerage, custody, and mining and a Bitcoin wallet that allows users to make on-chain and Lightning Network transactions. The company aims to become an established one-stop-shop for individuals and enterprises interested in Bitcoin, “the world’s only incorruptible digital money,” the company says.

In 2022, the startup rolled out River Lightning – an API that lets businesses integrate with the Lightning Network – a layer-2 payment protocol built on top of the Bitcoin mainnet that streamlines smart contract functionality for the primary blockchain.

Interest in the Lightning Network has been on a meaningful rise over the past year and has been one of the factors behind the recent increase in Bitcoin network fees. River said its Lightning API is already being used by several crypto apps, such as El Salvador’s Chivo wallet. The startup said it would use some of the funds raised to improve its Lightning features further.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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