Digital asset exchange ShapeShift raises $10.4 million in funding

(Reuters) - Switzerland-based ShapeShift, a digital currency exchange, said on Wednesday it has raised $10.4 million in capital from both U.S. and international venture capital investors to fund future expansion.

ShapeShift instantly exchanges digital currencies such as bitcoin for other online tokens without using conventional currencies such as dollars or euros. The company has grown an average of 48 percent per month since launching just under three years ago, it said in a statement.

The Series A funding was led by Berlin-based Earlybird. Other new investors include Lakestar, Access Venture Partners, Pantera Capital and Blockchain Capital. Previous ShapeShift backers FundersClub and Digital Currency Group also participated. So did the digital asset exchange’s founder and chief executive officer, Erik Voorhees.

The funds will be mainly used for further expansion of the company to keep up with its growth and to release two exchange products this year, the company said.

ShapeShift’s Series A funding represents the largest capital raised for a financial exchange that is not based on conventional currencies, the company said.

“When we started ShapeShift, a future world of natively digital assets was very theoretical,” Voorhees said in a statement.

“Yet this world is quickly arriving; one in which millions of forms of digital value, from access keys to tokenized derivative contracts to video game items, will trade between people and machines all over the world, every second of every day.”

The ShapeShift platform supports more than 40 digital currencies and assets, including bitcoin, ethereum, dash, litecoin, Augur’s REP token, and Monero. Any of these assets may be sold for any other, with more than 1,080 direct trading pairs.

“ShapeShift’s team built a compelling crypto exchange engine which can be easily integrated into third-party products,” said Christian Nagel, partner at Earlybird.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis