Twitter Raises Its Blockchain Bet By Backing LA Crypto Startup OpenNode
Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to email@example.com.
The social media giant has invested in a new $20 million Series A funding round for OpenNode, an L.A.-based startup that processes Bitcoin payments for businesses. Twitter joined London-based Kingsway Capital, which led the round, as well as Boston-based Avon Ventures and billionaire crypto evangelist Tim Draper.
The funding takes OpenNode’s valuation to $220 million, the company said in a statement.
Founded in 2018, OpenNode specializes in verifying transactions off of the Bitcoin blockchain, via a secondary layer called the Lightning Network. The company says Lightning is both speedier and cheaper than on-chain transitions, which includes fees from the network itself and third-party exchanges. OpenNode provides businesses with payment buttons, ecommerce plugins and an API in exchange for a 1% transaction fee.
In a statement, Twitter product manager Ester Crawford championed digital currencies, saying they “encourage more people globally to participate in the economy, and with less friction.” A Twitter spokesperson declined to disclose the size of the company’s investment in OpenNode.