Moving BitPay to Atlanta and the Rise of Bitcoin

May 22, 2014

If you have missed who BitPay is, you need to catch up. This Atlanta startup has grown from 2 cofounders to a team of over 40+ folks in the past fifteen months and recently raised a round of $30M in funding with a $160M valuation. With the BitPay team expected to reach close to 100 employees within the year, they recently graduated from the Village and took over an entire floor in the building next to us. We are glad to be neighbors! Here is a quick interview with founders, Tony Gallippi and Stephen Pair.

Why did you guys move to Atlanta to build your startup?

Georgia is home to many of the top companies in the financial-technology industry. Atlanta is the payments capital of the world, and 80% of all payments run through Georgia. With many companies in our industry already based in Atlanta, we felt it was the right place recruit the best talent!

What exactly does BitPay do?

BitPay is the leading payment service provider (PSP) specializing in the peer-to-peer virtual currency Bitcoin which provides for instantaneous transactions from anywhere in the world with no risk of fraud or chargebacks.BitPay enables businesses to easily accept bitcoins for payment just like with Visa, Mastercard, Paypal or cash. Merchants can choose what percentage of revenues are kept in bitcoins or converted to a fiat currency and direct deposited daily into their bank account. BitPay only charges up to 1% in processing fees to convert payments, which is significantly cheaper than most credit cards, and makes it much easier for businesses to accept Bitcoins and properly account for tax purposes.

What is the most fun thing you have purchased with Bitcoin?

Stephen bought his house and Tony bought his Tesla with bitcoin and Bitpay of course!

What has your biggest challenge been?

It was initially difficult to find businesses that wanted to accept bitcoin. Now that Bitcoin is gaining traction, we are trying to scale our business with the exponential growth we are experiencing. It’s difficult and exciting at the same time.

What did you love most about the Village?

We really liked the community at the Village. We were in a space with people who were all part of a startup company, so there was a strong sense of camaraderie in the building. The Village also did a great job at giving us room to grow. We started in the building as a two person company and we left the building with over 30 employees. We always felt that you guys supported us and understood our changing needs for space and resources.

Is Bitcoin growing?

Bitcoin and BitPay are both gaining traction in the last year. The general public is starting to understand the benefits of Bitcoin especially for businesses. BitPay helps make the currency easy to use for businesses who would like to take advantage of Bitcoin’s the low processing fees.

Where do you hope to be in one year?

In one year we hope to have more then doubled our merchant base. It’s a big goal, but we think it is doable. We are also hoping to have more a more developed presence in South America and Europe. We also expect to employee over 100 people worldwide.

Any words of wisdom for other startups out there?

“The best advice I can give is to learn how to sell what you are doing. If you can’t make people understand why your company is valuable, you don’t have a promising future.”- Tony Gallippi
May 22, 2014
Karen Houghton