Mercado Bitcoin, Latin America’s largest digital assets platform, announced a $200 million round led by SoftBank Latin American Fund. The Series B round is the largest investment ever made by the Japanese group in a crypto company so far and raises the valuation of 2TM Group, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin, to $2.1 billion, turning the company into the first Latin American crypto unicorn.
The newly raised capital will be invested in infrastructure to meet the growing demand for crypto assets in the region. During the first five months of the year, Mercado Bitcoin saw its trade volume increase to $5 billion, surpassing the total for its first seven years combined. Also, Mercado Bitcoin hit the mark of 2.8 million customers, more than 70% of the entire individual investors base on Brazil’s stock exchange. Approximately 700,000 new customers joined the platform in 2021.
Roberto Dagnoni, CEO of 2TM Group, says that Brazil follows the global trend of interest in digital assets and cryptocurrencies. “Millions of people around the world are realizing that digital assets and cryptocurrencies are both innovative technologies and efficient stores of value – Brazil is no exception to that trend.”
With the round, Mercado Bitcoin and the 2TM Group also intend to expand the product portfolio beyond the cryptocurrencies trade – in 2019, the group began to tokenize public debt assets and has also since tokenized or distributed private debt, carbon credits and a variety of utility tokens – as well as accelerate the growth of other group companies, such as the digital wallet provider Meubank and Bitrust, a digital custodian. Both are subject to regulatory approval from the Central Bank and the Brazilian Securities Commission.
The financing round comes just five months after Mercado Bitcoin’s Series A round in January 2021 and follows the recent heating up of the crypto market. This week, Bitcoin rose again and hit $35,000. The rise came after large institutional investments, such as the American bank Morgan Stanley, which bought 28,289 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, an investment offered by the largest cryptocurrency fund in the world.
For Marcelo Claire, CEO of SoftBank Group International, cryptocurrencies have a huge potential in Latin America and the group relies on Mercado Bitcoin leadership. “We’ve been impressed by 2TM Group’s understanding of the Brazilian ecosystem, as well as their contribution to the evolving regulatory framework in Brazil, all of which have positioned it at the forefront of the Latin American blockchain revolution and as a defining player in the cryptocurrency explosion in Brazil.”