On Tuesday (30 October 2018), Asiff Hirji, President & COO of Coinbase announced via a blog post that the crypto exchange had raised $300 million in its latest funding round, valuing the company at over $8 billion.
In his blog post, Hirji started by saying that Coinbase sees "tremendous promise in crypto to build the next great phase of the internet (often referred to as Web 3)", and that this next phase can put "control back in the hands of consumers, unleash a new era of innovation, and offer greater access to economic opportunities to more people around the world."
Next, he announced that an additional $300 million of funding had been raised via a Series E equity round led by Tiger Global Management, "with participation from Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain and others."
Hirji says that Coinbase will use this money to accelerate global expansion, to offer more cryptoassets ("we see hundreds of cryptocurrencies that could be added to our platform today and we will lay the groundwork to support thousands in the future"), to support development of projects such as stablecoin USDC or Coinbase Wallet, and to build features needed for getting more institutions into crypto.
Even on its platform for professional (or experienced) investors, Coinbase Pro, currently, only a few cryptoassets are supported: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ether Classic (ETC), 0x (ZRX), and USD Coin (USDC). One reason that Coinbase currently supports so few cryptoassets is due to regulatory concerns since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has not made it clear what cryptoassets it considers as securities. This is a problem since Coinbase has not yet been approved by the SEC for selling what may be securities to retail investors.
Techcrunch says that this latest $300 million investment "takes Coinbase to $525 million from investors to date, while the valuation represents a huge jump on the $1.6 billion it was deemed to be worth when it previously raised — that was $100 million back in August 2017."
According to a report in Fortune, a ""source close to Coinbase told them that "the company will also be bringing on other investors in the near future via a secondary offering worth $200 million or more", and that this would "serve as a vehicle for some employees and early investors to cash in their shares, and would not change the overall amount of capital raised by Coinbase." Fortune also says that this series E funding round could be an indication that the company is planning an IPO in 2019.
Featured Image Courtesy of Coinbase