Champ Titles Raised $18M from Point72 Ventures
Champ Titles Raised $18M from Point72 Ventures

Architect Partners was the exclusive Financial Advisor to Champ Titles.

Transaction Overview

On March 27, 2024, Cleveland-based digital title and registration platform Champ Titles announced an $18 million Series C equity round led by Point72 Ventures with participation by existing investors.

Company Description

Champ Titles provides a digital title and registration suite to streamline the vehicle titling process. Their platform enables the creation of legal, digital titles for easy transfer and verification, serving insurance carriers, lenders, state governments, auto dealers, and owners. Stakeholders, including state motor vehicle departments, lenders, and vehicle owners, benefit from a unified and transparent system, where all information is readily accessible and transaction times are markedly reduced. The governance of the digital platform is established through clear guidelines, ensuring all parties adhere to the updated processes and regulations.

Champ Titles’ success is measured by the elimination of more than 5 million pieces of paper annually on average per state; a reduction in processing time from 40-60 days to a matter of hours; increased productivity of DMV title clerks processing more than five times as many titles per day; and the improved experience for consumers in each state that has adopted Champ Titles’ solutions. Over the last twelve months, the company has successfully onboarded new states including New Jersey, Kentucky, and Illinois, and expanded its relationship with West Virginia by creating the first National Digital Titling Clearinghouse (NDTC). Through these efforts, the company has grown rapidly with revenue increasing by more than 300% year over year. 

Founded in 2018 by CEO, Shane Bigelow, the company now has 63 employees and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. 


In this Series C funding round, Champ Titles raised $18M from Point72 Ventures and existing investors including W.R. Berkley Corporation, Eos Venture Partners, Guidewire Software, and Rev1 Ventures, bringing the total amount raised since inception to $45M. 

In the prior Series B round, Champ Titles raised $13M from Guidewire Software, Eos Venture Partners, and Ally Ventures.

Before that, Champ Titles raised $13.5M in 2021 in a Series A. Emergents, now Architect Partners, served as the exclusive Financial Advisor for that financing. 


Champ Titles’ biggest competitors are existing state DMVs deciding to be a software company and developing solutions on their own or via large systems developers.  However, they also compete with other digital title networks such as Cario and Oxhead Alpha/Tezos. In addition, technology-enabled DMV solutions such as Fast Enterprises are seen as competitive but don’t offer the same efficacy.


Architect Partners’ Perspective

Champ Titles’ SaaS-based solutions present a compelling example of blockchain-enabled infrastructure solving real-world problems.  By focusing on the needs and pain points of legacy auto title, registration, and lien processing, Champ has leveraged the power of blockchain to transform critical government services.  The result is exponentially accelerated processing time for DMV constituents, with improved accuracy and reduced cost.  Yet Champ’s solutions capture many key benefits of on-chain data processing – which include trust, transparency, data integrity, security, and efficiency – without users even being aware of their blockchain foundations.  

While much attention is focused on recent resilience in crypto asset prices, we believe 2024 will see significant growth in non-speculative enterprise applications for distributed ledger technology.  Champ’s successful raise demonstrates investor interest in practical and scalable solutions to real-world problems.


Coinbase Acquires One River Digital Asset Management

Ayush Mishra
March 3rd, 2023

Transaction Overview

On March 3rd, 2023 Coinbase announced the acquisition of the digital asset management firm, One River for an undisclosed amount. 


Target: One River Digital Asset Management

One River Digital Asset Management (ORDAM) is an SEC-registered, cryptocurrency investment management and advisory firm. The company offers institutional investors access to digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, other cryptocurrencies, and blockchain-related companies. It’s based in Greenwich, Connecticut with additional offices in New York and Singapore. One River is split into two primary investment vehicles: the One River Digital Asset Fund and the One River Digital Bitcoin Fund. These offer institutional clients investment solutions, and advisory services, and implement their proprietary trading algorithms to create value for their clients.


One River’s closest competitors are other digital asset management firms such as Grayscale, WisdomTree, Bitwise Asset Management, Coinbase Asset Management, Fidelity Digital Assets, and ARK Invest.


The company was founded in 2019 by Eric Peters and Sebastian Bea. Both founders have extensive experience in the finance and technology fields. Peters and Bea lead the firm’s ~50 employees. One River has also ventured into the carbon-neutral Bitcoin space by launching a firm that focuses on mitigating the environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining. One River has raised $56M in capital over two rounds, with the latest round from September 2021 at a $186M post-money valuation. Former investors include Goldman Sachs (lead), Infinity Capital Partners, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Coinbase Ventures. 


Buyer: Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN)

Coinbase is one of the largest players in the cryptocurrency exchange and digital asset space. The company is well-known with 110 million users in over 100 countries. Coinbase also provides a variety of institutional-grade services for finance professionals in the digital asset industry including an institutional trading platform, custody solutions, and prime brokerage services. Coinbase is one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to go public, and the company is listed on the NASDAQ, with a current equity value of $14.5B and an EV / LTM revenue multiple of 4.1x. 


Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam. Armstrong is the current CEO, leading the firm’s ~3,000 employees. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has offices in New York, Chicago, Tokyo, and London. 


Coinbase has been a leading acquirer in the crypto space, previously acquiring FairX (2022), BtcTurk (2022), Unbound Security (2021), BRD (2021), Bison Trails (2021), and Tagomi (2020).


Transaction Parameters

ORDAM, a subsidiary of One River Asset Management, was acquired by Coinbase for an undisclosed amount. ORDAM will transition to become Coinbase Asset Management (CBAM).


Comparable digital asset management transactions include Huobi | About Capital Management, | Altonomy ($250M), Gemini | Omniex, Deutsche Borse | Crypto Finance ($108M).


Strategic Rationale

Often, buyers and sellers have an existing relationship, which holds true in this case. Coinbase invested in One River’s Series A and had been a close partner for several years leading up to this acquisition, demonstrating the “Acquire your Acquirer” approach to driving premium value M&A. Coinbase followed this road and found a natural way to expand their product scope and firm strategy while still focused on the crypto industry.


Specifically, this transaction fulfills two strategic rationales:

  1. Continued investment in the institutional business line. Expanding their institutional offering through ODAM’s Separately Managed Account (SMA), Coinbase can continue to offer additional services to their growing segment. Coinbase has increasingly become institutionally focused, with 80% of trading volumes in 2022 being institutional and roughly 25% of the 100 largest hedge funds in the world by assets under management are Coinbase customers. 
  2. Recurring revenue. Pricing for SMAs is asset-based, so the revenue is a (relatively) consistent flow and can help diversify from the volatile trading revenue.  


Architect Partners’ Observations

Crypto-focused asset management is a very narrow tightrope to traverse.  With the SEC’s continued rejection of Bitcoin-based Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and recent messaging of the “qualified custody” requirement of crypto for wealth managers, regulatory uncertainty is a damper on the sector. Institutionally focused products, such as ORDAM’s, are an area that has more leeway.  While there are other firms with a similar focus, many have plateaued in growth.  While there are other asset manager players, will this prompt others to find a new home in a larger firm?


This transaction also signals a future vision of what exchanges may become – all-encompassing financial services firms (much like many, many other TradFi firms). Coinbase’s sole dedication to the crypto sector is becoming a differentiator in itself.



PitchBook, Coinbase Website, One River Website, Press Release