Infra crypto startup Fireblocks raises $ 310 million and triples valuation to $ 2.2 billion – TechCrunch

Fire blocks, an infrastructure provider for digital assets, has raised $ 310 million in a Series D funding round that tripled the company’s valuation to $ 2.2 billion in just over five months.

Sequoia Capital, Stripes Y Spark Capital co-directed the latest round of Fireblocks, which also featured the participation of Coatue, DRW VC Y SCB 10X – the venture arm of Thailand’s oldest bank – and Siam Commercial Bank. The latter is the third world bank to invest in Fireblocks in addition to Bank of New York (BNY) Mellon and SVB Capital.

In February, the New York-based startup raised $ 133 million in a Series C round at a valuation of $ 700 million. The latest funding brings the total Fireblocks raised since its inception in 2018 to $ 489 million. TOAs for Fireblocks’ valuation momentum, growth correlates with its increase in customers and ARR this year, according to CEO and co-founder Michael Shaulov.

Since January, Fireblocks has seen its customer base grow to around 500 from 150 in January. its ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) also increased: 350% so far in 2021 compared to 2020. Last year, ARR increased 450% compared to 2019.

“We hope to finish the year up 500%,” Shaulov said. “We have already adjusted our revenue predictions for 2021 three times.”

In a nutshell, Fireblocks aims to offer financial institutions an all-in-one platform to run a digital asset business, providing them with infrastructure to store, transfer, and issue digital assets. In particular, Fireblocks provides custody to institutional investors and has secured the transfer of more than $ 1 trillion in digital assets over time.

Fireblocks launched out of stealth mode in June 2019 and has since opened offices in the UK, Israel, Hong Kong, Singapore, France and the DACH region. Today, it has more than 500 financial institutions as clients, a mix of companies that already support digital and crypto assets and those that are considering entering the space. Clients include global banks, crypto-native exchanges, credit desks, hedge funds, OTC desks, as well as companies such as Revolut, BlockFi, Celsius, PrimeTrust, Galaxy Digital, Genesis Trading, and eToro among others.

Of those 500 institutions, Fireblocks is working with 70 banks looking to join the crypto space and start building platforms on their infrastructure, according to Shaulov. Commercial bank Siam, for example, is using the company’s infrastructure to transform itself into a blockchain-based bank.

“Our platform creates highly secure wallets for cryptocurrencies and digital assets, where institutions can store their funds or their clients’ funds, and also obtain security insurance,” he said.

The Fireblocks issuance and tokenization platform enables the creation of asset-backed tokens.

“We handle all security or compliance, all policies and workflows,” Shaulov said. “Basically all the complicated things you need to do as a business when you want to get started with this new technology. So it’s a bit like ‘Shopify for crypto’. “

Sequoia partner Ravi Gupta is naturally bullish on the company, describing Fireblocks as “the leading back-end infrastructure for crypto products.”

“The team has the potential to build a large, long-lasting business serving crypto-native companies, consumer fintech companies, and traditional financial institutions alike,” he told TechCrunch. “Their growth has been tremendous, and the quality of their product and customer sentiment are remarkable.”

Image credits: From left to right: Fireblocks co-founders Idan Ofrat, Michael Shaulov and Pavel Berengoltz / Fireblocks

Fireblocks has also started to see companies outside of what would be identified as fintech or finance showing interest in its platform, such as e-commerce websites looking to build NFTs on the back of their merchandise.

The Fireblocks platform, Shaulov said, helps spread the expansion of digital asset use cases beyond bitcoin in payments, games, NFT, digital securities, and “ultimately enables any business to become an asset business. digital “.

What that means is that Fireblocks technology can be blank-labeled for crypto custody offerings, “so that new and established financial institutions can implement direct custody on their own without having to rely on third parties,” says the company.

Shaulov emphasizes Fireblocks’ commitment to remain an independent company after a wave of consolidation in the space. Earlier this year, PayPal announced its plans acquire Curv, a cryptocurrency startup based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Then in early May, bitcoin-focused Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. said it agreed to buy BitGo Inc. for $ 1.2 billion in cash and shares in the first $ 1 billion deal in the cryptocurrency industry.

“Consolidation can be painful for clients,” he told TechCrunch. “It is important to us that we remain independent and that is part of the purpose of this round.

The company will also use the funds to increase its engineering operations and customer success, and expand geographically, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Fireblocks provides the most secure and flexible platform for a wide range of customer needs,” said Sequoia’s Gupta. “It uses world-class multi-party computing technology to protect digital assets in storage and in transit, and has the most flexible platform with controls so product teams can build and manage Fireblocks effectively.”

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