Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group Corp (OTC: SFTBY) is paving inroads to boost cryptocurrency adoption in LATAM starting with Mercado Bitcoin — the Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange. A report says that Softbank’s Latin America Fund has invested USD 200 million in 2TM Group — Mercado Bitcoin’s parent company.
2TM Group hits USD 2.1 billion valuation
The USD 200 million funding is the highest investment by the Japanese Conglomerate in a Latin America-based crypto company. Incidentally, it is also the largest investment raised by a Latin American company in its Series B funding round, says the report.
Softbank’s backing could provide a significant boost to 2TM’s growth plans. Reportedly, these funds would be allocated for upscaling Mercado Bitcoin, expanding its product offerings as well as investing in necessary growth infrastructure. Mercado Bitcoin is also in plans to increase its workforce to 700 by the end of this year.
TechCrunch quoted Roberto Dagnoni — Executive Chairman and CEO of 2TM Group, saying that “This series B round will afford us to continue investing in our infrastructure, enabling us to scale up and meet the soaring demand for the blockchain-based financial market. I am thrilled to have the SoftBank Latin America Fund support to help us to realize our vision, thanks to the unparalleled combination of their financial expertise, in-depth industry experience, and extensive regional footprint.”
After the Series B funding round, 2TM’s valuation is estimated close to USD 2.1 billion. In addition to Mercado Bitcoin, 2TM’s portfolio consists of other crypto-related services like Meubank (wallet service provider), Bitrust (an upcoming digital custody service provider), Clearbook (crowdfunding platform), MBDA (tokenized asset services), Mezapro (focused on services for institutional investors) and the education-centric arm Blockchain Academy.
Mercado Bitcoin and other companies in 2TM’s portfolio
The bump in valuation has put 2TM on the list of highly coveted Latin American companies. The report cited a CB Insights research that claims that 2TM is the 8th most valuable unicorn in the Latin American region. Whereas CoinDesk puts 2TM in the second place of LATAM’s Unicorn list, following Bitso’s USD 2.2 billion valuation in May 2021. Considering the hidden potential in 2TM’s portfolio companies, this could change soon and Mercado Bitcoin’s parent company could move up the leaderboard by a notch.
Since its inception in 2013, the Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange has grown its customer base to 2.8 million. Of this, 700,000 new customers signed up between January and May 2021, reports TechCrunch. The exchange reported USD 5 billion in trading volumes for the first five months of 2021 — a rise of 11x times year-over-year.
Meubank’s multi-asset wallet is currently awaiting regulatory approvals, and licensing from the Banco Central Do Brasil could lead to a significant uptick. Similarly, digital custodian Bitrust is also seeking a regulatory nod for its services and could be launched soon.