Galaxy Digital LP, the crypto-focused merchant bank founded by Mike Novogratz, is reportedly raising $250 million to expand operations through a credit fund focused on lending crypto firms. This marks a huge institutional investment in crypto asset-backed loans which is noteworthy given the prolonged bear market.
Galaxy Digital plans to help blockchain firms who can collateralize the loan with their “cryptocurrency assets, properties, and even machines that mine cryptocurrencies,’ Business Insider reports.
The company’s product lends money to cryptocurrency holders who don’t want to offload their holdings but also don’t necessarily want so much of their assets tied up in digital coins.
Galaxy Digital, which is headquartered in New York, said it has been able to prove to investors that there is significant demand for crypto-to-USD lending. Customers of the new fund will range from blockchain startups to miners who are looking for fast and affordable access to real money without having to sell or trigger taxable events.
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Nevertheless, Galaxy Digital itself took a $41 million hit in the Q3 2018 as bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies continue to struggle. In its latest financial disclosure, the New York-based firm reported a net loss of $136 million during the nine months through September 2018. This figure includes unrealized losses on crypto holdings which were caused by weak trading volumes and losing trades on Ether, Bitcoin, and XRP.
Investment in Other Crypto Startups
Michael Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs macro trader, launched the company in November 2017 and contributed $300 million of his own assets just a month before bitcoin peaked near $20,000. He also worked previously as CIO of Fortress Investment Group’s macro fund.
Earlier last year, a regulatory filing revealed that Galaxy Digital had over $280 million in assets as of the third quarter.
Despite the loss, Novogratz said earlier this year he still has “complete confidence” in the team’s ability to drive growth and that Galaxy is “strategically positioned to help further institutionalize the digital assets and blockchain industry.”
Novogratz has long been bullish on cryptos and blockchain. As part of his growth plans, Novogratz and his venture capital arm Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC participated in the latest $15 million funding round in cryptocurrency wallet provider BitGo.