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BitAccess promotional image.

BitAccess promotional image.

There are few tech incubator programs as prestigious as Y Combinator. The program has provided seed funding and business development guidance for some of the best-known startups of the last decade, including Dropbox, Airbnb and Reddit. In the bitcoin world, Y Combinator is perhaps best known as an early backer of Coinbase, easily one of the biggest players in the community. When Y Combinator throws its support behind a project like BitAccess, there’s a very good chance that the company will make some very big waves in the near future.

Based in Ottawa, Canada, BitAccess is perhaps best viewed as a maker of second-generation bitcoin ATMs. Although the company has been around since November of last year, putting it very nearly at the start of the fledgling industry, it’s doesn’t have the name recognition of Robocoin or Lamassu. BitAccess has also taken a different approach to their machines, presenting them as Bitcoin Teller Machines, or BTMs.

According to a report on CoinDesk, BitAccess co-founder Haseeb Awan said that his company has generally shied away from investors, wary of the strings that come with such deals. But the Y Combinator offer is different. The startup accelerator offers $120,000 and a huge amount of resources, guidance and access to other venture capital investors for a comparatively reasonable 7% equity stake in the company. Said Awan:

If we’re going to take it to the next level, we’re going to need those kinds of connections and partners who can help us to grow to a billion dollar company.”

Simply being accepted into the famously discriminating Y Combinator program carries a certain level of prestige, particularly in the Silicon Valley startup scene, but it’s not a guarantee of future success by any means. Several Y Combinator-backed startups have failed to see any meaningful results from their participation in the mentoring/seed capital program, and many more have lingered in a semi-profitable state for years. That said, Y Combinator claims that the average valuation of its alumni companies is $45.2 million. If Coinbase’s success is any indication (it has been valued at $140 million) BitAccess may well become one of the biggest names in bitcoin in coming years.

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