The Virgin Group founder invests in the crowdfunding startup. "I certainly would have tried" Indiegogo, he told CNET in a recent interview.

Richard Branson is a very big businessman: founder of the Virgin music company, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Galactic, and other parts of the Virgin Group. But with an investment this week in Indiegogo, he took an interest in the smallest of entrepreneurs.

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The crowdfunding industry is growing exponentially, and as it becomes an ever more popular way for entrepreneurs to raise money to fund their dreams, it’s getting attention from an elite tier of investor entrepreneurs.

San Francisco-based crowdfunding site Indiegogo announced today it has secured a second investment in under six months (the amount was not disclosed). Investors in the round include Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group; Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal; Maynard Webb, investor and tech executive that sits on various prominent boards; and Megan Smith, an entrepreneur herself and a vice president at Google.

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Rumours around BitPay, a platform that processes payments in bitcoin for merchants, is raising the field’s biggest round yet. The company is raising $30 million on a roughly $160 million valuation in a round led by Index Ventures, with Richard Branson and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang participating.

With BitPay’s previous funding round, the company’s financing tops the combined $26 million that Boston-based rival Circle has raised from Accel Partners, or the $31 million that San Francisco-based Coinbase raised from Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures or the $20 million round that Benchmark led for Xapo.

Published in Deals & Funding