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River CEO says bitcoin interest fueled by institutional investors after $35m capital raise

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River Financial, a San Francisco-based bitcoin technology and financial services institution raised $35 million in a new equity funding round, with the company’s CEO stating that institutional adoption rather than hype is mostly fueling a renewed interest in bitcoin. 

River’s new funding round raises $35 million

River’s series b funding was led by London-based investment management company Kingsway Capital, as stated in a press release. Other participants in the fundraise include Paypal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, Valor Equity, M13, Goldcrest, and Cygni. 

According to a statement by River CEO Alex Leishman, there’s “another wave of bitcoin interest, largely driven by business and institutional adoption. It’s not fueled by hype.”

Bitcoin price which started with around $16,500 at the beginning of 2023, is currently around $27,000, although the price of the asset is down over 60% from its peak of nearly $70,000 in November 2021. 

Leishman also stated that the collapse of banking institutions in the United States — which include Signature Bank and Silicon Valley — witnessed this year, emphasizes bitcoin’s importance for the global economy.

“This year’s bank failures and bailouts have been a wake-up call, revealing the cracks of the traditional financial system and reminding us why bitcoin is so important—it’s a secure path to a stronger and more transparent global economy. Adopting bitcoin with a trusted partner is no longer the speculative choice, but rather the prudent one.”

Alex Leishman, River CEO.

The latest funding round comes more than two years after the company raised $12 million in a series a funding in March 2021. The round was led by Goldcrest Capital, with participation from investors such as the Kraft Group, M13, and Polychain Capital. 

Part of the new funds aimed at building Lightning services

River Financial, established in 2019, offers a range of bitcoin services, which include bitcoin brokerage, mining, custody, and also a bitcoin wallet that supports on-chain and Lightning Network transactions.

The company was one of the first U.S. financial institutions to support deposits and withdrawals using the Lightning Network, which allows transactions to be faster and cheaper. 

In October 2022, the firm launched an enterprise API called the River Lightning Services, which enables companies to integrate with the Lightning Network. The service is already utilized by El Salvador’s Chivo Wallet, along with other crypto applications. 

The company also said that it plans to use a portion of the newly injected $35 million for the expansion of its B2B River Lightning segment.

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