Vaurum has raised $4 million in seed funding from Battery Ventures and angel investors including Tim Draper, managing director and co-founder of investment firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Steve Case, former chairman and chief executive of America Online. Vaurum is a cryptocurrency company developing bitcoin exchange software for financial institutions.
Vaurum, a cryptocurrency company developing high-performance, bitcoin exchange software for financial institutions, has raised $4 million in seed funding from Battery Ventures and angel investors, including Tim Draper, a managing director and co-founder of investment firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Steve Case, the former chairman and chief executive of America Online.
Vaurum intends to use the funding to scale its engineering team and further build out its white-label platform for financial institutions.
“There’s a great global demand by investors today to trade virtual currencies, mainly bitcoin, but in practice it’s not very easy for people to do, whether they’re sophisticated institutional investors or underserved populations in developing economies,” said Avish Bhama, co-founder and CEO of Vaurum. “Most investors—even savvy institutions—need an easy-to-use and compliant platform through which to buy and sell bitcoins, and we provide that solution.”
The company’s software is currently in use at large financial institutions, including broker-dealers, hedge funds, foreign-exchange dealers, commodity-trading firms and others. Vaurum works with these institutions to “white label” its software, enabling the firms to run their own exchanges and offer bitcoin trading to their own customers.
“As there are network effects to bitcoin, the market continues to increase in size, and more governments are setting up regulatory regimes to deal with digital currencies—just as more businesses are starting to accept bitcoin as payment,” said Roger Lee, general partner, Battery Ventures. “There is a need for a secure bitcoin-trading system, and we look forward to supporting Vaurum as it grows this nascent market.”
Vaurum CEO Bhama started the company with co-founder Sean Lavine after working for several years in the financial markets as a fixed income trader and foreign exchange analyst at tech giant Apple. He saw first-hand how global companies often keep profits stored overseas in local currencies due to capital controls and tax liabilities, and realized the need for a new system to enable something akin to cloud-based money, which could be transferred more easily.
Vaurum is a Palo Alto-based company focused on building a commercial infrastructure for Bitcoin to better integrate cryptocurrencies into the traditional financial system. The company specializes in cryptocurrency-derived products for the financial sector in both developed and developing economies. Beyond the exchange for financial institutions, Vaurum is also developing tools that leverage cryptocurrency protocols for novel uses.
Battery Ventures / for Vaurum