Align Commerce, the cross border blockchain based payments company, secured $12.5m in Series A funding. CEO, Marwan Forzley, described the business as, "Align takes the payor’s currency, exchanges it into bitcoin, and then exchanges the bitcoin to the payee’s currency. In this way, the startup avoids the cumbersome bank wire transfer process." The round was let by Kleiner Perkins. This is Kleiner's first bitcoin related investment.
This is Kleiner’s first deal in the bitcoin sector. “I’m not a currency speculator,” said Randy Komisar, general partner at Kleiner who is joining Align’s board, about his lack of interest in investing in bitcoin startups previously. With Align, “there’s no speculation. They don’t hold [bitcoin],” Mr. Komisar said. Nonetheless, Align and other startups that refer to themselves as “blockchain” still rely on bitcoin having value and liquidity as a digital currency. “Yes, I would like bitcoin to be traded in volume,” Mr. Komisar said. “But I don’t care whether the currency is going up or down in price.” Bitcoin transaction volume, meanwhile, has stayed relatively steady over the past two years, according to charts on Blockchain.info, with daily volumes rarely crossing above 500,000 bitcoin.