Fintech startup Bitpanda is splitting into two companies as Bitpanda Pro — the company’s cryptocurrency exchange — is going to become its own independent company called One Trading. As part of this move, One Trading is also raising $33 million (€30 million) in funding.
Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures is leading the funding round, with participation from MiddleGame Ventures, Speedinvest, Keyrock and Wintermute Ventures.
Bitpanda is a popular consumer trading app that has raised hundreds of millions of dollars and attracted millions of users in Europe. While the company started as a crypto broker and exchange, it then added the ability to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, precious metals like gold and commodities.
More recently, the company has been partnering with other fintech startups so that they can offer stock and crypto trading in their own apps. For instance, Lydia and N26 both selected Bitpanda as their white-label trading partner.
In addition to these trading products designed for retail investors, Bitpanda has been running its own crypto exchange called Bitpanda Pro. This service is designed for institutional investors who handle large orders or businesses that want to trade using bots and the company’s API.
And that’s the part of the business that is becoming its own company called One Trading. Going forward, Bitpanda is still going to offer crypto trading — but it will act as a broker, not an exchange. A crypto exchange manages trades between different users while a broker acts as an intermediary between customers and different markets.
One Trading CEO Joshua Barraclough, who was already in charge of Bitpanda Pro, said in an email that Bitpanda and Bitpanda Pro are “separating so that they can build out a market leading product for sophisticated retail and institutional customers, with the right focus and investment to be successful. Bitpanda continues to operate, but no longer has an exchange or institutional OTC business.”
Splitting the company also means that Bitpanda won’t face as many regulatory challenges as One Trading. For instance, One Trading plans to offer derivatives, which are risky financial assets.
Similarly, in the U.S., crypto companies like Coinbase and Binance are facing lawsuits for securities law violations. While the regulatory landscape seems more stable in Europe for now, things could change in the future. Isolating Bitpanda from the crypto exchange activities seems smart to guarantee Bitpanda’s long-term prospects.
So far, Bitpanda Pro hasn’t been the most active crypto exchange. As of this writing, CoinMarketCap reports that the platform has facilitated $634,000 in transaction volume over the past 24 hours. As a comparison, Binance and Coinbase have handled more than $8 billion and nearly $1 billion in transaction volume, respectively.
One Trading hopes that it can improve liquidity with recent infrastructure improvements. “We aim to become a utility for large liquidity providers to exchange unlimited amounts of risk under a membership model instead of pay-per-trade and have low fees and deep books for retail with a number of liquidity protections,” Barraclough said in a statement.
“We will then start listing more products with appropriate controls and vetting as we move into derivatives. Above all we want a regulated, institutional-grade platform where people feel safe to trade with unique product options,” he added.
It’s going to be interesting to see if there is any significant change in transaction volume in the coming weeks.