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.


Robinhood acquires BitStamp

Michael Klena
June 7, 2024

Robinhood Acquires Bitstamp for $200 Million in Cash Consideration

Transaction Overview

On June 6, 2024, Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD), a multi-asset retail brokerage, announced its acquisition of Bitstamp, a European crypto exchange, for $200M in cash. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2025.


Target: Bitstamp

Bitstamp is one of the oldest crypto exchanges, founded in 2011. Their key offerings include crypto trading for retail and institutional investors, staking and lending, and advanced trading tools.


The company has a global licensing regime that includes 50 active licenses and registrations across Canada, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Spain, The Netherlands, the US (New York BitLicense 40 state  MTLs), the UK, and Singapore. 


According to FCA filings, Bitstamp’s UK entity has delivered estimated revenue in line with other large exchanges of $55M, $58M, and $118M in 2019, 2020, and 2021 respectively. In 2022 the firm estimated $31M in revenue with a  $7.5M loss.


Founded in 2011 by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak, Bitstamp now has over 350 employees. The company had raised $19.4M over three funding rounds. In 2018, Belgian private equity firm NXMH acquired an 80% stake in the company at a $500M valuation. Other minority shareholders were Ripple, Pantera, Broslyn Capital, VironIT, and MV Global.


Buyer: Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD)

Robinhood is an online retail broker that revolutionized the brokerage industry with their commission-free model. Today, they have expanded their offering to include stocks, options, crypto, and a subscription service that offers enhanced features. 


In 2021, Robinhood expanded its crypto trading capabilities by acquiring Cove Markets. In 2022, the company partnered with Circle to offer USDC stablecoin within the Robinhood ecosystem.


In the last twelve months, Robinhood has done $2.04B in revenue and $668M in normalized EBITDA. The firm currently has 23.9M funded customers and 13.7M monthly active users. Q1 2024 crypto revenues were $126M, up 232% year-over-year. As of March 31, 2024, Robinhood custodies $26.2B in crypto assets, an increase of $11.5B since December 31, 2023. 


Founded in 2013 by Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood now has over 3,800 employees. The company has raised over $7.5B through 11 equity funding rounds, with key investors including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, D1 Capital Partners, and DST Global. In July 2021, Robinhood went public via an initial public offering (IPO), valuing the company at approximately $32B. Today the company has a market cap of $20.2B and trades at an EV / LTM revenue multiple of 7.4x and an EV / LTM normalized EBITDA multiple of 22.6x. The stock is currently up 85% YTD in 2024. 


Transaction Parameters

Robinhood acquired Bitstamp for $200M in an all-cash deal. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first half of 2025. 


In FCA filings, Bitstamp’s UK entity revenue was $31M in 2022.  We estimate the last twelve months’ revenue of approximately $25M using a trading volume / revenue ratio from historical reported periods.  This results in an EV/revenue multiple of 8x.  This compares to Robinhood’s current equivalent valuation multiple of 7.4x, as highlighted above.


This is the middle of the pack for their comparables, but nearly half of Coinbase’s revenue multiple: 


        Coinbase: 14.7x Enterprise Value / LTM Revenue Multiple

        Bakkt: 4.6x Enterprise Value / LTM Net Revenue Multiple

        Galaxy: 6.9x Enterprise Value / LTM Revenue Multiple


We will update EV / revenue multiple as Robinhood publishes their relevant public filing. The deal represents a significant discount from the $500M valuation in the 2018 majority investment.  


Strategic Rationale

Crypto continues to take an increasingly important role in Robinhood’s business, accounting for 20% of total revenue in Q1 2024. Despite receiving a Wells notice from the SEC in May 2024, the company continues to expand its crypto business.  This acquisition instantly expands global reach to ensure participation regardless of US actions. It also expands the institutional offering, which positions Robinhood as one of the few publicly traded crypto-influenced companies that will be able to serve institutions as they come into the digital asset space.


Architect Partners’ Observations

Bitstamp is a prime asset due to its long operating history and global licensing reach. We feel Robinhood valued the global reach and the institutional business the most and acquired at a reasonable price.  The stock market reaction was positive as well, trading up 7% on the news.


On valuation, this deal is an important marker of the current market, albeit with a small sample size.  Valuations have right-sized again and parties on both sides are beginning to bridge the recent gap in expectations.  The deal also shows the value of cash as a form of consideration to allow the facilitation of transactions.  Often, in today’s M&A market, equity is offered as a large component of consideration, creating a myriad of challenges to transaction completion.


For the industry, we view bridge transactions – where traditional finance acquires a crypto-native – as a strongly positive indicator.  Consolidation will continue for crypto exchanges and more traditional finance participants will broaden the potential acquirer universe.  



PitchBook, Bitstamp Website, Robinhood Website, FCA Filings