Bittiraha.fi – Bitcoin services since 2012
Bittiraha.fi has provided trusted Bitcoin services for almost 3 years and is the Finnish market leader. Now it is time to jump to the next level and become one of the leading companies in the whole Bitcoin economy.
Our story started in 2011 when the first mainstream news came out about Bitcoin.
Majority of our founding team (5 of 8) knew each other already and got interested
in Bitcoin at basically the same time. We were fascinated by Bitcoin right from the start. This was April 2011.
At first we were mainly interested in Bitcoin mining. In a matter of only a few weeks we had dozens of “mining rigs” running in multiple apartments – mining bitcoins like crazy. This was a wild ride in itself – and a story for another time.
During the summer of 2011 we became more and more involved with Bitcoin and started to realize the incredible potential it has.
In the fall of 2011 we started to think about the possibilities of running a Bitcoin website. We noticed that almost all information about Bitcoin is in English. There were no Finnish services that offered Bitcoin information or Bitcoin services.
We decided to go for it. We envisioned a site that provides everything you need to join the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin information and education, news, blogs,
forums and commercial services for buying and selling bitcoins.
We knew good developers for this would be hard to find, so we started looking for people on IRC (Internet Relay Chat), where the Finnish Bitcoin community has been strong from the start. We decided to ask on the channel (#bitcoins.fi, ircnet) if there are coders who would be interested in joining a Bitcoin company.
We got immediate response. In fact we found 3 coders to our team.
That was it. Now we had our core team of 8. It was time go to work.
Our development process started in early 2012 with the company being officially founded in March 2012. Our main website Bittiraha.fi officially launched in May 2012.
Nowadays Bittiraha.fi is the leading Bitcoin service provider in the Finnish market. We’re also operating the largest Bitcoin ATM network in the Nordics, called Bittimaatti. We run a Bitcoin webstore called BTC Store which focuses on security products.
In the coming weeks we’re also launching the production of our own Physical Bitcoins, which are beautiful collectibles with real bitcoin value stored in physical coin format. We already have a wholesale partner for the physical bitcoins in Asia, and are expecting significant volume from the Asian markets.
Currently our company has 10 employees. From the original founding team 4 are still directly working for the company and some are in advisor positions. We’re constantly improving and expanding in our journey to become not just a good company – we are on our way to becoming great.
The picture below is from the launch of our prime Bittimaatti location at Kamppi kauppakeskus (which is the most visited mall in Finland). Person in the picture is Henry Brade, CEO of Bittiraha.fi.
Our business & market situation
Bitcoin is the fastest growing payment network and currency in the world. It has become a hot trend across the globe.
It is a revolution in internet micropayments, remittance, currency markets and online payments in general. It may even change our entire society.
Bitcoin is already used by companies such as Microsoft, Dell, PayPal, airBaltic and tens of thousands of other companies.
Bitcoin has more than 5 million users across the globe and over 50 000 users in Finland. Close to 100 000 merchants are accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment worldwide, and there are 365 bitcoin ATMs in operation. The userbase is growing rapidly, as serious Bitcoin services are getting more and more secure and user friendly.
Bittiraha.fi is the Finnish market leader in Bitcoin services and has served over 20 000 Finnish customers. The services of Bittiraha.fi include a Bitcoin exchange, Billpay service and Wage payment service. The core idea of Bittiraha.fi is to provide Bitcoin services in a localized fashion.
In addition we are operating the largest Bitcoin ATM network in the Nordics, called Bittimaatti. Our services also include a webstore called BTC Store which focuses on Bitcoin security products.
- Our exchange services have processed 20 million euros in volume to date
- We currently process around 1 million euros of trading volume per month
- 20 000 unique customers, over 65 000 processed orders
- In terms of commission revenue we have seen a significant yearly increase since the beginning. Our sales revenue for 2014 was 300 000 €.
The concept of Bittiraha.fi can be expanded to all European countries. Our Bitcoin ATM network can be expanded to other countries as well. BTC Store is already international but requires more resources for marketing to have the impact it deserves.
In the coming weeks we’re launching a new international brand which is focusing on Physical Bitcoins. We plan on bringing bitcoins to the whole world as an affordable physical coin. This is a different approach from the physical coin products currently available, which are very expensive and mainly used as collectors items. Our focus is on the idea of using them as affordable gift items.
For the Physical Bitcoin product we plan on targeting the European market directly and we already have a wholesale partner for the Asian markets where we expect significant volume.
In addition to strenghtening our core services and making them global, we are also working on multiple new exciting products.
First of all we plan to build a Bitcoin vault where any person can safely store their bitcoins. We believe our team has the expertise to do this safely and securely. For the vault project we already have a partner company which provides certificated storage for us to be able to get insurance for our vault.
In addition we are interested in launching an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) on top of the vault. This would likely be done in co-operation with a company that already has the licenses to operate an ETF. Our role is to provide the Bitcoin infrastructure for the fund.
We believe these ideas for expanding our operations have great potential. The only thing we need now is the funding to start working on them right away.
*In addition to the forementioned projects the company is developing a technology that enables sending and receiving Bitcoin transactions without an internet connection.
More detailed discussion about this technology is subject to Confidentiality Agreement.*
We believe that one of the greatest opportunities for Bitcoin is remittance. Sending money between continents is faster, cheaper and more convenient with Bitcoin than with any other alternative. Currently the only thing missing is proper infrastructure.
Our company plans on being heavily involved in the Bitcoin remittance market. For instance our Bitcoin ATM network is a great platform for international money transfers. We are already in talks with other Bitcoin startups to connect our ATM’s with local Bitcoin exchange infrastructure across the globe.
Our company has an extensive partnership & contact network within the Bitcoin industry. We have worked with BitPay, Bitstamp, Lamassu, Casascius, Bitcoin Magazine, BTC Trinkets, LocalBitcoins and many other companies. In Finland we have a close partnership with upcoming merchant service startup Bitcoinkaupat.com.
The CEO of Bittiraha personally knows many CEO’s in the Bitcoin industry and is in a great position to build greater partnerships.
The Bitcoin economy is growing rapidly but it is not mainstream yet. It’s currently facing a challenge of how to create services that are useful for mainstream consumers.
There are many approaches to this. Making it easier is important. Making it more secure is important. However we also believe in making it invisible. The Bitcoin of the future may not show itself to the users in the way it now does. There are ways of using Bitcoin without actually knowing that you’re using it.
We believe Bitcoin will be the new gold standard. A new truly global currency that will rival the largest national currencies in the world. However what Bitcoin looks like now will not be how it looks like in 5-10 years. It will evolve significantly.
Our team at Bittiraha.fi has experienced Bitcoin since 2011. We don’t only understand the technicalities of Bitcoin, we now have a pretty good idea of where Bitcoin hits and where it misses. We plan to focus on where it hits.
Building a brand is important. We are one of the top companies in the Bitcoin economy in terms of building a brand. Not only are we by far the most known Bitcoin brand in Finland, our name, Bittiraha, is actually a synonym of Bitcoin and is commonly used to refer to Bitcoin.
Our whole market has been the 5,5 million Finnish people. We have provided Bitcoin services which are still a niche. Yet we have managed to attract over 20 000 Finnish customers and to build a brand that has great impact locally.
Imagine what we can do when we start doing the same on a larger scale? The big players in Bitcoin space will need to watch out.
In the picture below we demonstrate how powerful our brand is in Finland. In the Google search for “Bitcoin”, our website has both #2 and #3 spots in the organic search. Only the Wikipedia page for Bitcoin has a higher rank than our website.
Our team is one of the most capable startup teams in the world. With experience in entrepreneurship, business, technology, programming, security, website design, graphics, marketing and film making, our team can do it all.
Check the profiles of our core team members from below to get an idea of whom you are investing in.
Henry is one of the co-founders of Bittiraha and has been in charge of daily operations since the beginning. Henry has a college degree in IT networking and a background as a professional poker player.
Since learning of Bitcoin in 2011 he has been a hobbyist ever since. Nowadays Henry is considered one of the key Bitcoin experts in Finland.
Henry had no prior experience of being an entrepreneur but the 3 years in charge of a Bitcoin startup has been a great learning experience. He is well prepared for the challenges ahead.
Something needs to get done? No worries, Viljami will handle it. He is known as a Bitcoin expert & hobbyist and in his job as the Chief Operating Officer he focuses especially on getting things done. Viljami is a co-founder and he is in charge of physical Bittimaatti installations and BTC Store.
Joel Kaartinen is the technical expert in our team and he is in charge of our technical solutions. Joel has expert level knowledge on Bitcoin and he follows Bitcoin Core development closely. Joel feels that the decentralization of power is one of the most important features of Bitcoin. Joel is a co-founder.
Outi is one of our brokers. Broker’s job consists mainly of processing the orders of our Bitcoin Exchange service at Bittiraha.fi and handling related customer service. Outi is a Bitcoin hobbyist and she is doing her master’s thesis in the University of Jyväskylä on Bitcoin.
Jani is one of our brokers. Broker’s job consists mainly of processing the orders of our Bitcoin Exchange service at Bittiraha.fi and handling related customer service. Jani is a Bitcoin hobbyist and a co-founder of Prasos.
Joel Lehtonen is the project manager of our development team. He has extensive programming skills and also experience on embedded systems. In addition to working for Bittiraha he runs the internationally acclaimed Kryptoradio project.
Sebastian is known for his diverse skillset spanning many different fields. For Bittiraha he is developing software solutions. He supports a future built on open source and decentralized technologies.
Samuli is in charge of keeping Bittiraha.fi social media up-to-date. He is a writer in the weekly “viikkokatsaus” report at Bittiraha.fi and he also publishes blog posts at the Bittiraha website.
Juha has been a Bitcoin hobbyist for many years. For Bittiraha his role is system administration.
Igor is our marketing planner and producer. His speciality is photography and film. He’s especially interested in Bitcoin as a payment method.
Uses of funds
With 150 000 €, we will:
- Strenghten our core team by raising more of our team members to full time positions. We’re also planning to make strategic recruitments to add even more diverse expertise into our team.
- Increase our exchange liquidity to be able to provide faster and more flexible exchange services to our customers. Currently we have high demand for trade through our services which can occasionally cause trades to be slower than they should. This is a “positive problem” that can be solved with higher liquidity.
- Add more resources to marketing to be able to retain our position as market leader in Finland and to help Bitcoin become a more mainstream technology. We have big plans for major marketing campaigns which are reserved for when the time is right. Besides the right time, we also need the funding that enables larger marketing campaigns.
- Focus on projects that aim at internationalizing our current service concepts. We don’t believe all of our products can easily succeed in the international market. There is ever growing competition in the international Bitcoin economy. However, we do believe that some of our products can succeed in the international market, and we will focus on those that have the most potential.
With 300 000 €, we will:
- Do everything above.
- Start accelerated development of our Bitcoin vault service. The idea of the vault is to allow regular people to store their bitcoins safely in a way that doesn’t feel too difficult.
- For the vault we already have a partner company that will provide certificated storage space for the vault to enable us to have insurance. Our plans for the vault infrastructure have been developed already.
- With the funding we can hire more key people to accelerate the technical development of the vault, the insurance and KYC of issues of the vault and the marketing of the vault.
With 500 000 €, we will:
- Do everything above.
- Start working on a Bitcoin ETF immediately. The idea of the exchange traded fund is enable regular people to invest in bitcoins in a way that feels just as familiar as investing in stocks or any other fund.
- The first step is to hire a key person to oversee the ETF project. Then we will find a company that already operates ETF’s to co-operate with us, to get around the licensing issues. We will use our vault system as the infrastructure for storing the bitcoins belonging to the ETF.
Subscription of funds
All the money invested in us through this funding round will be entirely subscribed in the reserve for invested non-restricted equity (SVOP).
The company articles of association include a redemption clause which states that during any sale of company shares the current shareholders and the company have the privilege to interfere in the sale by buying the shares instead (they will need to pay the same price as is listed in the sale offer). Each shareholder has this right in proportion to the percentage of the company he or she owns.
The purpose of this clause is to allow shareholders and the company to have more control in situations where ownership is being transferred from known shareholders to new shareholders.
Clarification regarding our financial statements for 2014
In the table below we state that our sales for 2014 were 300 000 € yet in our latest financial statement the number is 200 000 €.
This is due to the fact that our financial year is from 1st of April to 31st of March. The latest official statement is from March 31st of 2014 and thus that statement mostly reflects our numbers for the year 2013, not 2014.
Our unofficial accounting for 2014 shows that our sales for 2014 were 300 000 € in total, which is the most recent revenue figure. Our accountant can confirm this if needed.
Bitcoin has great potential but it is a politically, financially, technologically and socially experimental technology. It is a true paradigm shift. It is not guaranteed that Bitcoin will become a major currency. In 5 years it doesn’t necessarily even exist. This needs to be taken into account when investing into bitcoins or Bitcoin companies.
In terms of the market situation within the Bitcoin economy – there are of course challenges. It is becoming a highly competitive market. We strongly believe that we have what it takes to be one of the leading companies in this market – but we can’t guarantee it.
|Sales||300.000 €||600.000 €||1.500.000 €||3.750.000 €||9.375.000 €|
|Sales growth %||100.0%||150.0%||150.0%||150.0%|
|Operational costs||350.000 €||525.000 €||1.050.000 €||2.100.000 €||4.200.000 €|
|EBITDA||-50.000 €||75.000 €||450.000 €||1.650.000 €||5.175.000 €|
|Forecasted CAGR (forward 4 years)||136.44%|