The Argentine company Ripio has acquired BitcoinTrade, the second largest crypto exchange in Brazil, to improve its presence in the foamy Latin American crypto market.
Ripio (formerly known as BitPagos) ended 2020 on a high and passed the 1 million user milestone. Early last year, the company was seriously looking for a good fit in Brazil and chose BitcoinTrade, said Sebastian Serrano, CEO and co-founder of Ripio. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Brazil has always been a very important market for us,” Serrano said in an interview. “BitcoinTrade has a very good reputation in the market, very good processes and compliance. It also has a very significant user base – around 300,000 users in Brazil – and very good volume on the exchange. “
Serrano also pointed out BitcoinTrade’s well-established banking relationships in Brazil, which also include accounts with Santander, Banco Itaú and Banco do Brasil.
Brazil has the largest GDP in Latin America and appears to be extremely desirable virgin territory among South American and Central American crypto exchanges. Last month, Mexico City-based crypto exchange Bitso raised a $ 62 million round of funding, part of which was earmarked for a push in Brazil.
“We have a very good relationship with Bitso,” said Serrano. “We and Bitso are the two really well-funded companies with access to venture capital. There are no companies in this position in Brazil. But I really think the opportunity is to expand the entire Latin American market. “
The company, which now has over 150 employees in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico and Spain, has also raised capital from Draper Ventures, Pantera Capital and the Digital Currency Group (which also owns Coindesk). As part of previous acquisitions, Ripio bought Unisend, another Latin American bitcoin exchange, in 2015.
BitcoinTrade founder Carlos Andre Montenegro will step down from his daily duties as operator of an exchange to focus on running his family office. His role will be taken over by Bernardo Teixeira, the current CFO of BitcoinTrade.
“We are very excited and confident that Ripio is the best choice to expand the path started with BitcoinTrade in Brazil,” Montenegro said in a statement.