Crypto Investment Firm Circle Seeking $250 Million Ahead of Possible IPO

Omar Faridi
  • Circle Internet Financial is planning to raise an extra $250 million to fund ongoing expansion operations.
  • Circle's last valuation was nearly $3 billion, and to date it has raised $246 million.

Founded in 2013, Boston-based fintech firm Circle Internet Financial is reportedly looking to raise $250 million in order to further expand its operations and product offerings.

According to a report published on March 2 by The Information, Circle’s fundraising round will consist of equity and debt financing. To date, Circle has managed to raise approximately $246 million from several prominent investment firms including giant Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, the Digital Currency Group, and Pantera Capital.

In its most recent Series E fundraiser, Circle was able to acquire $110 million in investment from a diverse group of investors at a valuation of almost $3 billion. Circle’s decision to seek additional funding before its initial public offering (IPO) may be part of the company’s business strategy to gain a larger market share on San Francisco-based crypto exchange Coinbase and other competing crypto-related firms.

At present, Circle’s management operates a number of subsidiaries including Circle Invest, Circle Trade, and digital asset exchange Poloniex which was acquired in 2018.

In early January 2019, Circle revealed that it facilitated the trade of approximately $24 billion in cryptocurrency through its over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. According to an official blog post published by Circle’s founders, Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, the company helped process more than 10,000 OTC trades “across 36 different cryptoassets” with “nearly 600 distinct counterparties.”

Circle's Founders Anticipating Further Incremental Growth This Year

As explained in Circle’s blog, the payments technology firm offers liquidity to large cryptoasset exchanges, cryptocurrency miners, and blockchain project developers. The crypto-focused personal finance firm also provides liquidity services to the “new cryptoasset investor base of venture capitalists, crypto funds, hedge funds, and family offices” across the globe.

Explaining the American fintech firm’s business strategy and overall approach to the crypto sector, Circle’s blog post mentioned: 

This year, we anticipate further incremental growth in institutional adoption catalyzed by stablecoin usage, advancements in institutional custody solutions, increasing regulatory clarity particularly in the [United States], and improvements and innovation in core crypto infrastructure.

Fighting Market Manipulation, Seeing Crypto As "Transformative"

On January 23, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:

We see crypto as much more transformative even [when compared to the world wide] web. It will have a far greater impact on our civic institutions, our economic institutions, and on the nature of the firm itself.

As CryptoGlobe reported recently, Circle is also planning to fight crypto market manipulation tactics including insider trading and “pump and dump” schemes through advanced market surveillance tools. The payments technology firm reportedly intends to use digital financial services firm Nice Actimize’s tools to help prevent exploitative activities in the volatile crypto market.

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Coinbase Quietly Pulls the Plug on Its Cryptocurrency Bundle Product

Francisco Memoria

The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has quietly pulled the plug on its Bundle product, which allowed users to buy a basket of cryptocurrencies with fiat.

According to an update on its FAQ page, the cryptocurrency exchange “deprecated” the Coinbase Bundle product, and all assets in it have been “redistributed to their respective individual asset wallets.”

The move, first spotted by Crypto Briefing, is believed to have been made because the product wasn’t a profitable one. Coinbase Bundle was launched back in September of last year to make it easier for investors to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, through a weighted basket of the cryptocurrencies the company then offered.

This means users could use a small amount of fiat to buy bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and ethereum classic at once. Per the exchange itself, the bundle’s purpose was to “make buying more convenient and less overwhelming.”

At the time, the exchange also launched other features: Coinbase Learn and new asset pages.

The timing was off, however, as the product was launched during the bear market that saw the price of most cryptocurrencies drop well over 80%. Images shared on social media in December of 2018, when bitcoin hit its $3,200 low, showed investing $100 on Coinbase would’ve led to significant losses only a few months later.

As covered, Coinbase recently launched a service offering its users four free exclusive “trading signals,” in a bid to help its customers “independently create and manage their own crypto strategy.”

It’s worth noting Abra, a digital asset exchange and wallet provider,  launched a product packaging various cryptocurrencies into one at about the same time Coinbase launched its Bundle product. Abra’s product is its BIT10 token.