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.


Zodia Custody Raises $36 Million

Steve Payne
April 27, 2023

The company has now raised a total of $44M over two funding rounds, with their previous Seed funding of ~$8M taking place in August 2021 at a $75M post-money valuation.

Transaction Overview

On April 27, 2023, Zodia Custody raised $36 million in equity capital led by new investor SBI Holdings with participation from follow-on investor Standard Chartered Ventures and other unnamed smaller investors.


Company Description

Zodia Custody offers custody services to institutions for digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, ChainLink, Bitcoin Cash, USD, Uniswap token, and Ripple. The firm leverages infrastructure used by Northern Trust and Standard Chartered, and is registered with FCA in the UK, consistent with its compliance-centric positioning. In addition, Zodia Custody expanded to Japan via a partnership with SBI Digital Holdings in February of this year; this partnership is focused on being a custodian for the Japanese institutional market. Other clients of Zodia include Invesco and their Bitcoin Exchange Traded Product, BTIC. 


Zodia stated that the funding will be used to boost geographic expansion and increase the firm’s token coverage, as well as to improve its interchange and off-exchange settlement services.  


Zodia was founded in 2020 by a joint venture between Northern Trust and Standard Chartered’s innovation hub, Standard Chartered Ventures. The firm is headed by CEO Julian Sawyer, who leads the company’s ~50 employees.



The company has now raised a total of $44M over two funding rounds, with their previous Seed funding of ~$8M taking place in August 2021 at a $75M post-money valuation. This round’s valuation was not disclosed.



Zodia Custody competes with other crypto custody companies largely focused on institutions, neobanks, and fintechs. Some examples include Fireblocks, Hex Trust, PolySign, Copper, and BitGo. 


Architect Partners’ Perspective

Zodia Custody’s primary differentiator is their support and backing from high-quality, traditional financial institutions. The company was formed in 2020 as a joint venture between Standard Chartered (who reportedly had a 90% stake at that time, and remains the largest investor) and Northern Trust, two highly reputable institutions. The addition of Tokyo-based SBI Holdings, another high-quality financial services provider, shows the value of “trusted” providers – TradFi players are more comfortable with crypto infrastructure services when provided by players they know and trust. Zodia Custody is focused almost exclusively on serving traditional financial institutions that have been historically underrepresented in the crypto space, mostly due to internal sensitivities towards the crypto sector after recent market events. 


The involvement of SBI Holdings in the latest funding round is notable, as the large Japanese conglomerate (which spun out from Softbank in 2006) has been a major player in the crypto space for several years. SBI Holdings operates a number of cryptocurrency-related businesses, including a mining business, an overseas remittance business, and a crypto exchange. SBI is generally known for its bullish stance on the crypto sector.


The lack of crypto-centric venture capital funds in the round is indicative of the overall market tone.  As we discussed in our recent Q1 2023 Crypto Market Report, financings have slowed measurably versus a year ago, and the big crypto venture funds that topped the tables last year are much quieter.  In that regard, it is probably a healthy sign that financial services strategic investors are active.


Another healthy sign is that most of the top 30 banks are now making moves to provide services for holding crypto for their large customers, an indication that digital assets are (slowly) becoming another mainstream asset class.



PitchBook, Company Website