Mexican cryptocurrency platform Bitso launches in Colombia

FILE PHOTO: Souvenir tokens representing cryptocurrency Bitcoin and the Ethereum network, with its native token ether, plunge into water in this illustration taken May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Mexican cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitso has begun operating in Colombia, its fourth market, where it hopes to accumulate 1 million clients just this month, co-founder and Chief Executive Daniel Vogel said.

Bitso is among Latin America's growing collection of "unicorns" - companies with a valuation of at least $1 billion - and is worth some $2.2 billion, following a 2021 funding round where it raised $250 million.

Bitso will offer customers instant transfers via the PSE payment system, sales of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, as well as use of its new investment platform Bitso+.

Bitso currently has 4 million customers in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

"With our launch in Colombia we hope to hit 5 million customers and we think we can do that this month," Vogel told Reuters in a phone interview.

"We see Colombia as a key market for us, which we are entering with this expansion plan from the point of view of our products, hiring people (and) growing in the country - it is a very dynamic market in terms of cryptocurrencies," he added, though he declined to say how much Bitso would invest in the Andean country.

Vogel, an economist and systems engineer who graduated from Stanford University, ruled out more investment rounds in Bitso's immediate future.

"We're really focused on continuing to grow this business but for now there is no need to raise more capital," he said.

Funds including Cometa, Pantera, Coinbase Ventures, QED Investors, Kaszek, Tiger Global, Coatue and Bond have invested in Bitso to date.

(Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra in Bogota; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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