French Fintech Lydia Taps Bitpanda to Let 5.5M Users Trade Crypto
By Sandali Handagama
Austrian crypto exchange Bitpanda has teamed with French mobile payments app Lydia to offer Lydia’s 5.5 million users the ability to invest in digital assets.
Bitpanda announced Monday its digital asset investment product is now fully integrated with Lydia’s payments app, which will enable Lydia customers to invest in over 170 digital assets from cryptocurrencies to commission-free fractional stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETF) and precious metals. Transactions are executed via Bitpanda, the announcement said.
Bitpanda, Austria’s first tech unicorn, has been expanding its presence through Europe. In October, the firm partnered with an Italian open-finance platform to let Italian banks and fintechs access digital asset trading services. In the same month, Bitpanda hired former JPMorgan executive Joshua Barraclough as the new CEO of its advanced trading platform to push growth in Europe.
“This collaboration is fully aligned with our mission to bring digital assets into mainstream adoption and to improve investment literacy in Europe and beyond,” Eric Demuth, co-founder and co-CEO of Bitpanda, said in an email to CoinDesk.
Demuth said the partnership with Lydia reinforces Bitpanda’s ambitions in France, where it has been registered with the financial markets authority (AMF) since December 2020.
“France is a key market for Bitpanda and this is why we are currently opening up a local office in Paris and building a local team to own the growth in the market,” Demuth said.
Bitpanda is not the only crypto firm looking to set up shop in France. In November, leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance contributed $116 million to a research and development initiative to help grow the blockchain and crypto industry in France.
In August, Bitpanda was valued at $4.1 billion following its Series C funding round. According to TechCrunch, Lydia raised a total of $131 million in two funding rounds last year. Founded in 2013, Lydia’s investors include venture capital firm Accel and Chinese tech giant Tencent. Lydia offers a variety of services including current and shared accounts, express loans, instant bank transfers, mobile payments and investment, the announcement said.
“We are the first on the French market to provide such an extensive range of digital assets,” said Cyril Chiche, CEO and co-founder of Lydia, in a press statement.