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Sweden-based Bitcoin startup Safello raises $600K in seed funding

February 17
6:16 PM 2014

Swedish Bitcoin exchange Safello secured $600,000 in seed funds, VentureBeat reported. The financing came from Bitcoin backer and Coinapult.com Founder Erik Vorhees, Nemcv.com's Zubair Quraishi and over a dozen other investors.

VentureBeat conducted a phone interview with Safello Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Frank Schuil who said that the proceeds from the latest round will be enough to fund the online processing exchange for the entire year. The Safello team will then try to get financing from institutional investors through a Series A round after that. The startup, which has a workforce of nine employees, was able to obtain $30,000 from private investors for its launch in August last year, the report said.

Schuil told VentureBeat, "So far, we've transacted, in volume, more than $1 million in turnovers since last September." All the transactions were focused in the European market, the report said.

Safello describes its operations as a digital currency market exchange where Bitcoin can be bought, sold and stored safely for online purchases done through e-commerce platforms. Aside from Bitcoin experts and entrepreneurs, the team also has people who specialize in encryption, the report said.

Schuil said that they are collaborating together with financial watchdogs of the Swedish and German government to fight activities that have earned crypto currency exchanges a bad name: Fraud and money laundering. The startup also prefers to operate the European markets since some members of the EU, specifically Germany and Sweden, have come up with rules regarding the taxation and use of the Bitcoin, the report said.

At present, transactions done in the virtual currency are exempt from the EU's Value Added Tax. Schuil told VentureBeat that this imposition has long been thought of by a lot of businesses and businessmen in Europe as a hindrance for doing business.

He told VentureBeat, "The European landscape is a lot different from the U.S. market, and Sweden and Germany have been very explicit on how it is being taxed. Even so, both European and U.S. markets have been relatively pretty positive about regulating the market without quashing innovation."

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