Simplex, an Israeli startup that enables the purchase of bitcoins via credit cards, has launched with $8.4 million in the bank.
The firm is hoping to bring bitcoin purchasing into the mainstream through an API that makes it easy and risk-free for exchanges, brokers and wallets to add a credit card payment option on their checkout pages and process consumer purchases.
Simplex claims that it offers an alternative to the most prevalent method for bitcoin purchases - wire transfers to exchanges, which could take up to three days and entailed KYC requirements by banks, including providing explanations for purchases as well as copies of IDs.
Nimrod Lehavi, CEO, Simplex, says: "Banks often place additional restrictions on which countries Bitcoin exchange customers can send wire transfers to. For example, it may be difficult for the average US resident to use a wire transfer to buy bitcoins from countries outside of the US like Slovenia, Hong Kong or China. This clearly creates very high friction and makes mainstream adoption of bitcoin far from easy.
"With Simplex, transactions are convenient, carry less restrictions, and occur almost instantaneously. Bitcoin buyers can use Simplex’s checkout page on Bitcoin exchanges, broker websites, and wallet applications, then proceed with their purchases, as they would on any e-commerce site."
Founded by serial entrepreneur Lehavi and two PayPal veterans, Erez Shapira and Netanel, Kabala, Simplex says it has already processed over $3.5 million in transactions since going live in beta a year ago.
With a $7 million Series A round funding joined by angel investors and companies in the bitcoin ecosystem, such as Bitmain and Cumberland, it now plans to step up through a full launch.