Abra (company)

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Abra
Private
IndustryFinancial services
Founded2014
FounderBill Barhydt (CEO)
HeadquartersMountain View, CA, U.S.
Area served
United States and Philippines
ServicesCryptocurrency wallet and exchange
WebsiteOfficial website

Abra is a financial services and technology company that operates an all-in-one cryptocurrency wallet and exchange app. The Abra app is available on both iOS and Android platforms and allows users to buy, sell, and hold 25 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies in one place. It supports some of the most popular cryptocurrency assets including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, ZCash, DigiByte, Stellar and more.

The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California with an additional office in Manila.

History[edit]

Abra was founded in 2014 in the Silicon Valley by Bill Barhydt, a former software engineer for Goldman Sachs and former director of Netscape.[1][2][3][4] The company and its service plans were officially announced on the last day of the Launch Festival in San Francisco in March 2015.[5][3] In September 2015, the company received $12 million in Series A funding from an investment group led by RRE Ventures, First Round Capital, and Arbor Ventures[1] with additional participants including American Express and Ratan Tata to bring the total funding to $14 million.[6][7] The company was also an acquisition target of Singapore-based venture capital firm Jungle Ventures in September 2015.[8]

The company announced in late 2015 that it would be taking its service out of beta and launching in the Philippines and the United States.[6] In early 2016, the company launched in the Philippines and then launched in the U.S. in June of that year.[9][10]

In August 2017, Abra was featured on the show Planet of the Apps. All four entrepreneur advisors on the show were interested in being associated with Abra, but Barhydt chose Gwyneth Paltrow to advise the company.[11]

In 2018, Abra announced Series B investment and added new investors HCM International (Foxconn's venture subsidiary), Ignia, and Silver8 Capital.[12]

Service[edit]

Abra users can deposit money into the app using a credit or debit card, a wire transfer, a bank transfer, or by transferring supported cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. Users can withdraw funds using the same methods.

A bank account is not required in order to use Abra in most countries.[3][4][5] The service is currently available via an app on Android and iOS devices in the United States and the Philippines.[4][6][7]

Unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges, Abra uses Bitcoin and its blockchain technology to store and encrypt cash deposits on the user's mobile device.[15]. The Abra model is entirely non-custodial, meaning neither Abra never takes custody of anyone's funds other than their own. In other words, everyone in the Abra system always holds their own money.[2][3][7][13]

In March 2018, Abra added support for 20 new cryptocurrencies including Litecoin, Ether, Vertcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Stellar.[14]

In May 2018, Abra added additional support for the cryptocurrencies Monero, NEO, NEM, Lisk, and Verge.[15]

Recognition and awards[edit]

Abra won the "Best Overall Winner" at the Launch Festival in San Francisco in March 2015.[5][3][16] The following year, the company received a bronze Innovation Project award in the "Best Cash Innovation" category.[17][18]

In June 2018, Abra was listed in the Wall Street Journal as one of the “Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch in 2018.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tepper, Fitz (10 September 2015). "Abra Raises $12M In Series A Funding For Its Bitcoin-Based Remittance Service". TechCrunch. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  2. ^ Eugenios, Jillian (9 June 2015). "Your bank account: The next thing to go obsolete". CNN. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Rizzo, Pete (4 March 2015). "Former Netscape Director Launches Bitcoin Remittance App Abra". CoinDesk. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  4. ^ Epstein, Jim (1 June 2017). "Silicon Valley Startup Lets Users Move Money Without Government Interference By Turning Their Phones Into Stand-Alone Banks". Reason.
  5. ^ a b Donnelly, Jacob (5 March 2015). "Could Abra be Bitcoin's "Killer App"?". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b Shin, Laura (22 October 2015). "American Express Invests In Bitcoin Venture, Abra, Which Announces U.S., Philippines Launch". Forbes. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  7. ^ Kharif, Olga (30 January 2017). "AmEx Joins JPMorgan, IBM in Hyperledger Effort". Bloomberg – via www.bloomberg.com.
  8. ^ Wille, Klaus (22 September 2015). "Temasek-Backed Jungle Ventures to Raise $100 Million by Year-end". Bloomberg – via www.bloomberg.com.
  9. ^ Higgins, Stan (30 June 2016). "Abra Launches Blockchain Remittance App in US". CoinDesk. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  10. ^ Rizzo, Pete (5 May 2016). "Global Expansion is Next Act for Bitcoin Cash App Abra". CoinDesk. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  11. ^ Shin, Laura (August 2, 2017). "Bitcoin Startup Abra Adds Gwyneth Paltrow As Advisor, Is Featured In Apple Reality TV Show". Forbes.
  12. ^ "Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra - CoinDesk". CoinDesk. 2017-10-23. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  13. ^ "Bitcoin Wallet App Abra Adds Support For Ethereum - CoinDesk". CoinDesk. 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  14. ^ "Abra adds 20 cryptocurrencies to its wallet app". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  15. ^ "Abra Lists New Coins | Monero (XMR), NEM (XEM), NEO Included". Crypto Currency News. 2018-05-01. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  16. ^ "Launch Festival 2015 Best Overall Winner". Launch Festival. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  17. ^ "2016 Innovation Project Awards". PYMNTS.com. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  18. ^ Buntinx, JP (9 February 2016). "Bitcoin Startup Abra Remains Quiet After Series A Funding". Newsbtc. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  19. ^ Pettit, Dave (2018-06-12). "WSJ Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch 2018". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-07-12.

External links[edit]