2TM, the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin, has raised $50.3 million in fresh financing to expand its operations across Latin America, sending a strong signal that venture capital sees growth potential in the region.
It has been reported that the Series B fundraiser had participation from United States-based funds 10T and Tribe Capital, as well as Brazilian companies Traders Club, Pipo Capital, and Endeavor.
However, the funding round further cements 2TM’s status as a crypto unicorn after the company raised $200 million from SoftBank in July. At the time, Mercado Bitcoin was the second Latin American cryptocurrency exchange to eclipse the $1 billion valuation mark.
The report said that Mercado Bitcoin now boasts of over 3.2 million customers, which is equivalent to around 80% of individual accounts active on the Brazilian stock exchange.
Roberto Dagnoni, the CEO of 2TM, said that trade volumes reached $7 billion in the first 10 months of 2021. Mercado’s growing user base reflects heightened retail interest in digital asset investing at a time when economies across Latin America are struggling with hyperinflation and other fiscal pressures.
In Brazil, Mercado Bitcoin’s home base, regulators have endorsed legislation that would support the continued growth of crypto investing. Leading investment bank BTG Pactual has also launched a new platform to make it easier for users to access cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
Likewise, Mercado Bitcoin spokesperson said that motivations vary across countries.
The spokesperson said:
"For example, in Brazil, the main driver is as [an] alternative investment class. In Mexico, remittances are a significant part of the overall volume drivers. In Argentina, there is a much more intensive adoption of stablecoins to protect from currency fluctuation."
Thus, the cryptocurrency industry is now home to dozens of high-profile unicorns and at least three multi-billion-dollar investment funds.