Microsoft’s M12 and Pantera Capital are among investors in a $300 million Series B funding round for Bakkt. The fresh influx of capital comes as the company looks to launch its consumer payments app while announcing the option of Bakkt Cash payment for Starbucks coffee.
Microsoft Leads $300 Million Series B Funding for Bakkt
Bakkt CEO, Mike Blandina, announced the news of the $300 million series B financing round via a post on the company’s Medium account on Monday (March 16, 2020). Blandino replaced Kelly Loeffler as CEO of Bakkt following the latter’s move to the U.S. Senate.
An excerpt from the announcement reads:
“Today, we are pleased to announce that Bakkt has raised an additional $300 million of capital with participation from investors including Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s M12, PayU, Boston Consulting Group, Goldfinch Partners, CMT Digital, and Pantera Capital.”
Bakkt is also eyeing the rewards arena with its recent acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions — a loyalty services platform. According to Blandino, Bakkt now runs 70 percent of the loyalty programs organized by financial establishments in the U.S. with more than 4,500 loyalty programs across several industries.
Crypto rebates and cash-backs are becoming an increasingly popular market niche with participants like Lolli looking to incentive greater retail crypto adoption. Earlier in February, reports emerged that Lolli was already in partnership with over 950 online merchants to boost global Bitcoin adoption.
The fresh capital influx comes at a time of massive cryptocurrency selloffs with many holders seemingly panicking to liquidate their digital currency holdings in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bakkt Cash for Starbucks Coffee
Amid the $300 million funding round, Bakkt has also debuted a Bakkt Cash payment option for Starbucks coffee. Still in beta testing, the move allows some Starbucks app users to use Bakkt cash for payment along with other staples like Apple Pay, Chase Pay, and PayPal.
Tweeting on Monday, Bakkt President, Adam White declared that the company was working to make crypto payments seamless by reducing transaction costs for both consumers and merchants.
While the beta tie-in features only Bakkt Cash, inside sources say Starbucks might be considering other cryptocurrencies depending on the success of Bakkt Cash with consumers.