Coinbase Eyeing Acquisition of Rental Startup Omni to Bulk up Coinbase Earn

Michael LaVere
  • Coinbase is reportedly in talks to acquire the engineering team from rental startup Omni.
  • Omni has been struggling to generate interest despite receiving $25 million in funding from Ripple last year.

U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase is reportedly in talks to acquire peer-to-peer rental startup Omni’s engineering team to bulk up their Coinbase Earn program.

According to a report by TechCrunch published Oct. 5, Coinbase is in the process of negotiating an acquisition of Omni. The startup, which raised more than $25 million last year from Ripple, functions as a digital platform for users to rent and lend items ranging from bikes to power tools.

Omni bills itself as a company for people who value, “experience over things, access over ownership and living lighter.” The company’s roots were originally in the physical storage business before shifting its model to a digital marketplace of rental goods. 

TechCrunch’s report claims that Omni has been struggling to generate adequate revenue and interest, despite Ripple’s injection millions of dollars, leading some to fear that the organization was on the verge of flopping. 

Coinbase’s acquisition centers around hiring some of Omni’s engineering staff and incorporating them into the Coinbase Earn program, which rewards users in crypto for participating in educational seminars. 

A Coinbase spokesperson told TechCrunch that there is nothing on record for them to share regarding an Omni acquisition and that no official deal has been made. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Coinbase Preparing for Stock Market Listing as Early as This Year: Report

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has reportedly started preparing for a stock market listing that could come as early as this year.

The move would make Coinbase the first major U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange to go public, but the listing would require the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) blessing. According to Reuters, one source claimed the exchange is considering a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering (IPO).

While in an IPO new shares are created, underwritten and sold to the public, in a direct listing no new shares and created and only outstanding shares are sold, with no underwriters involved. Reuters quoted three people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because the listing preparations are reportedly confidential.

Coinbase has not yet registered its intention to go publish with the SEC, but has already reached out to investment banks and law firms. The cryptocurrency exchange was valued at $8 billion in its latest private fundraising round in 2018.

It was founded in 2012 and now has over 35 million users, allowing them to trade various cryptoassets both on its Coinbase platform and on the Coinbase Pro platform. It also has multiple other services, including Custody, Commerce, and Earn.

The San Francisco-based firm’s bitcoin holdings are estimated to now be over 1 million BTC, as users deposit funds on it over time. Last month Coinbase revealed it suffered outages after seeing its traffic spike significantly in a few minutes, as the price of most cryptocurrencies moved abruptly.

As CryptoGlobe reported, CryptoCompare’s June 2020 Exchange Review showed Coinbase was the third-largest top tier crypto exchange by trading volume in May, trading $6.86 billion worth of crypto throughout the month, falling behind OKEx and Binance.

Featured image via Unsplash.