Circle, a UK P2P payments app that uses Blockchain technology for transferring payments internationally, raised $60 million to take its service to China.
In a blog, founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire said the funds will support a firm called Circle China, set up six months ago.
Currently, the money transfer service is available to customers in the US and UK with a wider European rollout to follow soon.
The round is led by IDG Capital Partners, a Chinese VC firm, and Breyer Capital, a US VC firm that specialises in the States and China.
Another US firm, General Catalyst Partners, is also an investor, alongside Chinese backers that include Baidu, CICC ALPHA, China Everbright Limited, Wanxiang and CreditEase.
In addition, the company said two heavyweight names are on board: Sam Palmisano, former Chairman and CEO of IBM, and Glenn Hutchins, the co-founder of SilverLake and a well-known private equity investor.
Circle’s service transfers payments internationally via Bitcoin, which are settled via the Blockchain network that verifies Bitcoin transactions without the need for a central authority.
In the country to which the payment is being transferred, the Bitcoin is transferred back into the local currency. Supporters claim this approach, also offered by other startups, radically reduces the cost of international money transfers.