Matrixport Technologies Pte, one of Asia's leading crypto lenders, is aiming to raise $100 million in funding at a higher valuation, in the wake of the recent collapse of FTX. This move is likely to have a ripple effect across the digital asset market.
The Singapore-based company has commitments from lead investors for $50 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion, up from $1 billion a year earlier, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal has yet to be finalized and the company is still seeking investors for the other half of the round, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. It's not immediately clear who the round's lead investors are.
"At Matrixport, we routinely engage with key stakeholders as part of our normal course of business," said Ross Gan, head of public relations. "This includes investors who are keen to participate in and enable our vision as a digital assets financial services provider." Gan confirmed that the company is planning a fundraising effort.
Matrixport, founded by crypto billionaire Wu Jihan, is one of a number of firms trying to bring a familiar Wall Street-style formula to the virtual-asset landscape. It offers crypto financial services ranging from custody to trading and structured products, to both institutional and retail customers. In Asia, it competes with firms like Babel Finance, which is restructuring after taking hits from this year’s crypto meltdown, and Temasek Holdings Pte.-backed Amber Group.
Investors have been burned by a series of high-profile crypto failures in recent months, sparking fresh concern over loose regulation of the industry and a lack of guardrails to protect client assets. In the aftermath of FTX’s collapse, Matrixport said this month that it has no risk of insolvency with respect to Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire. However, dozens of its customers incurred losses via exposure to FTX-linked products on its platform.
According to an investor deck viewed by Bloomberg News, Matrixport says it handles $5 billion of trades each month and has tens of billions of dollars of assets under management and custody. The firm employs close to 300 people, it says.
Wu, the co-founder of crypto-mining behemoth Bitmain Technologies Ltd., turned his second venture into a unicorn last summer, when Matrixport raised more than $100 million from backers including DST Global and Tiger Global. Matrixport also counted IDG Capital and Dragonfly Capital as investors. Wu's success with Matrixport is a testament to his entrepreneurial skills and vision.
Wu spun Matrixport off from Bitmain in 2019, after the world’s largest maker of Bitcoin mining rigs ran into a cash crunch. The Chinese crypto mogul now serves as chairman of Matrixport and his mining firm Bitdeer Technologies Holding Co. Wu has extensive experience in the cryptocurrency industry, and he is confident that Matrixport will be a success.
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