Coinbase has reportedly secured a $75 million investment, led by venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ).
Other notable investors include the New York Stock Exchange, USAA Bank, BBVA Ventures and Japanese telecom giant DoCoMo. Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit also personally invested.
The mix of investors is impressive considering their prominence and the fact that for several, it is their first Bitcoin-related investment ever.
It is the largest investment round ever in a Bitcoin company, which in the case of Coinbase, also supports the highest number of merchants and consumer wallets in the industry. In total, $106 million has been poured into Coinbase to date, also a record for the industry.
The funding gives Coinbase an implied valuation of up to $400 million or more. Coinbase had reportedly been seeking a $40-$60 million investment, with some reports quoting a figure as high as $150 million. Either way, the round was highly anticipated, with several unconfirmed reports of its taking place popping up during the past 24 hours.
The funding will go towards expanding services to international markets, as well as to cover regulatory costs. NYSE President Tom Farley said:
“With this investment, we are tapping into a new asset class by teaming up with a leading platform that is bringing transparency, security and confidence to an important growth market. We look forward to supporting Coinbase’s growth utilizing our global distribution capabilities and market expertise.”
Is a Deeper Stock Market Correction Imminent?Go to article >>
Good for the Ecosystem
The investing group also viewed the funding as a way of reinforcing the Bitcoin ecosystem, which Coinbase has become a major part of. BBVA Ventures Executive Director Jay Reinemann commented, “By serving consumers, merchants and developers alike, Coinbase touches the most important aspects of that emerging ecosystem, giving it one of the best viewports into new developments and applications for the technology.”
The investment comes despite bitcoin’s continued decline in price, which has lost as much as 50% year to date. The price action had been rumored as a sign of weakness in the industry and a cause for hesitancy among investors until now.
This news is a shot in the arm for an industry with little by way of good news to report thus far in 2015. Headlines have instead been dominated by the ongoing price decline, bitcoin hackings and theft, and the ongoing trial
By the same token, bitcoin’s price does not seem to have reacted to the news, in fact it has declined by 2% during the past two hours.
(Update 14:51 GMT: prices have suddenly reversed higher by 3.5% to above $210 during the past hour.)
For a detailed list of recent investment and M&A activity in the crypto industry, please visit the DC Magnates Crypto Deal Table.
(Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Vikram Pandit is CEO of Citigroup. He is in fact former CEO.)