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Baidu invests in Circle, a bitcoin-based money-sending app

Circle, an app for sending money to friends and family using the bitcoin blockchain, has pulled in another $60 million, bringing its total cash raised to $136 million. Chinese tech giant Baidu joined this round, along with a stack of previous investors including IDG, Breyer Capital, and General Catalyst Partners.

The main selling point of Circle is that it lets app users send money to other people, even non-users, in any part of the world. Bitcoin stays in the background; it’s just the vehicle for sending that cash. Like Venmo, it’s social; messaging and gifs are very much a part of the experience. While Venmo is popular in the U.S., it has yet to launch in Europe—and that is exactly where Circle plans to do its next big marketing push.  RR