Many retail stores would like to welcome the added business that the crypto community brings, but find that they don’t have the capability to do so within their existing payment infrastructure. One company bridging this gap is Slovenian startup Eligma which is now set to start global expansion with an infusion of cash from Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund.
Also Read: What Makes Slovenia a Cryptocurrency Leader – Bitcoin.com Mini-Documentary
Eligma Raises €4 Million For Global Expansion
Eligma has announced it’s recently completed a new funding round, bringing the total investment to €4 million ($4.39M) with participation from Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund. The company is the developer of Elipay, an infrastructure for accepting crypto payments at brick-and-mortar as well as online shops where merchants can receive settlement in local fiat currency.
Since starting out with a public crowdsale in 2018, Eligma has established more than 450 locations in Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey accepting crypto on a daily basis. The new injection of capital will help the company expand its services to additional markets around the world where merchants wish to add support for crypto payments at the point-of-sale.
“On a daily basis, we are being contacted by merchants and companies from various countries where cryptocurrencies already represent an important alternative to the local currency or fiat in general. This is not only an important recognition of all our hard work and persistence, but is also proof of the practical utility of our ideas and solutions. We are proud to have raised the interest of Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund, whose investment clearly reflects their belief that our solutions have global market potential,” stated Eligma CEO Dejan Roljic.
Pangea Blockchain Fund is an investment firm focusing on offering intellectual and financial capital to early stage blockchain companies. It invests in entrepreneurs committed to building blockchain solutions that disrupt or transform the status quo. The firm secured $22 million in a seed round in February 2019 from a group of investors including Copernicus Asset Management SA, a Switzerland-based financial services group, and Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman Roger Ver.
Empowering Merchants to Accept Cryptocurrencies
Elipay helps businesses accept cryptocurrencies as payment in a way that they are familiar with, without being exposed to the volatility of the crypto markets or to the regulatory and tax uncertainty that currently exists when receiving crypto in many countries. The service is already used by hotels, shops, restaurants, sports facilities and a range of service providers, including for flight tickets, taxi rides and car rentals. It is also notably accepted by 14 supermarkets from one of Slovenia’s biggest grocery store chains Tus, with more than 20,000 products on offer.
On the buyer side, the shopping process is designed to be extremely simple. The user just scans the purchase QR code with a crypto wallet, selects the cryptocurrency and confirms the transaction. Currently, the supported locations can serve more than 20,000 users of the Elipay app as well as the 4 million users of the Bitcoin.com Wallet. The company also plans to open up its infrastructure for additional crypto wallets soon.
The Elipay service offered by Eligma is available for Android and iOS mobile devices. It supports cryptocurrencies like ETH, BCH, BTC, and the company’s native token, ELI. Users of the Elipay app receive up to 2% of ELI tokens back for every purchase, and can spend these on further shopping at any of the Elipay locations. According to a recent blog post by the CEO of Eligma, following the new investment, the ELI token will be integrated into the Bitcoin.com Wallet and will be listed on the new Bitcoin.com Exchange. The token will also shift from the Ethereum blockchain to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.
“The development of finance is going towards cash becoming a thing of the past. Among other things, this is because doing business with it is quite time-consuming and expensive. On the other hand, one of the main problems with cryptocurrencies is that the confirmation of transactions can take several minutes if not more, which is unacceptable in daily shopping. Eligma effectively solved this problem with Elipay, which enables instant crypto transactions; furthermore, the merchant receives settlement in local fiat and is thus safe from crypto volatility. This makes the use of cryptocurrencies quick and effective for daily use. We must not forget that cryptocurrencies were envisioned as the electronic cash of the future,“ commented Roljic.
The Slovenian Success Story
Beyond empowering local businesses in their home market to accept cryptocurrency payments, Eligma has greatly helped put Slovenia on the map for many crypto entrepreneurs and developers. The country is now a global leader in the number of brick-and-mortar shops and service providers accepting fiat and crypto. In fact, with a population of just 2 million people, Slovenia now contains more retail locations accepting bitcoin cash payments than the United States. A recent short documentary on Bitcoin.com’s Youtube channel highlighted the thriving cryptocurrency ecosystem in Slovenia.
Elipay has also enabled the creation of Bitcoin City, a giant shopping mall with over 500 shops where many accept crypto payments in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. This commercial center is frequented by 21 million visitors a year and features the world’s highest concentration of shops accepting crypto in one location. Eligma revealed it now plans to expand this concept to additional cities around the world.
What do you think about the €4 million investment in crypto payments startup Eligma by Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Eligma.
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