17 Crypto Private Financings Raised ~$124M
Last week was one of the slowest weeks of the year for crypto private financings, with only $124M in disclosed raises. Typically, large industry events like Consensus last week in Austin are impetus for announcements, but this year we heard mostly Texas crickets.
One topic that came up in most of Architect’s meetings at Consensus was the U.S. regulatory environment. Most participants bemoaned the lack of clarity, and many were considering investments/acquisitions outside the U.S. to be better situated in growth markets. And then we saw Coinbase filing a lawsuit against the SEC in an attempt to force some clarity one way or another – we will wait and see what happens.
The largest investment announced last week was Zodia Custody raising $36 million in equity led by new investor SBI Holdings with participation from follow-on investor Standard Chartered Ventures. Zodia is a custody provider formed by a joint venture between Standard Chartered and Northern Trust a few years back. Earlier this year, Zodia Custody partnered with SBI to offer custodial services for the Japanese institutional market, so this is a purely strategic financing. A more detailed summary of this transaction will be posted on the Architect web site here.
The second largest financing last week was Axoni, a New York-based provider of data synchronization technology and financial market infrastructure. Two years ago BlackRock announced it had begun to use Veris, Axoni’s distributed ledger network, for equity swaps, joining Citi, Goldman Sachs and other counterparties. Axoni allows all parties on a trade to match and confirm all trade terms upfront and remain synchronised on post-trade events such as amendments, positions, and cash flows through the lifecycle of the swap. This financing fits neatly with Architect’s theme regarding the importance of data and data analytics in any market, especially crypto.
The $20M Axoni financing was led by EJF Ventures, with participation from Laurion Capital Management, Communitas Capital and existing investors. Prior to this round, Axion had raised $90M from a long list of leading crypto-centric and strategic investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Citi, CME Ventures, Coatue, DCG, Deutsche Bank, DCVC, FinTech Collective, F-Prime, Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Intel Capital, JP Morgan, LSEG, Nyca Partners, UBS, Wells Fargo and Y Combinator.