After raising the funds, the site became the eighth-largest unicorn in Latin America. It was valued at $2.1 billion.
The Latin America fund of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank has invested $200m in the parent company of Mercado Bitcoin, one of SoftBank’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South America. Mercado Bitcoin is valued at $2.1bn in the new round of investment, making it the eighth largest unicorn in the region.
Unicorns are defined as startups with an investment valuation of more than $1bn.
Mercado Bitcoin’s crypto-exchange customer base grew to 2.8 million in 2021, with more than 700,000 new users registering on the site between January and May. Since the beginning of 2021, trading volume on Mercado Bitcoin has reached $5 billion, exceeding the total volume for the last seven years of the site’s existence.
SoftBank is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Tokyo. It holds stakes in many technology, energy and financial companies. SoftBank also operates the Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology-focused venture capital fund, with more than $100 billion in capital.
SoftBank’s CEO, billionaire Masaesi Son, spoke at the DealBook conference in 2020 about a $50 million loss from bitcoin trading. According to Son, he invested 1% of his personal assets, about $200 million, in the first cryptocurrency on the advice of a friend.