Blockchain.com is seeking an ambitious $20 billion valuation
Happy Monday, Term Sheeters.
Here’s a little something from cryptoland: Blockchain.com is seeking a whopping $18 to $20 billion valuation as part of a new funding round. The company is aiming to raise $400 million in Series D equity from investors, according to someone involved in the—very early—discussions.
“That’s what’s being discussed,” says the person, who spoke with me on condition of anonymity. A company spokeswoman declined to comment.
For context, Blockchain.com is involved in a handful of businesses: It’s a crypto exchange, an institutional lender, a digital wallet provider, and an analytics platform. It recently launched the beta version of a new NFT marketplace. The person who spoke with me said the company’s revenues will have grown ten-fold by the end of the year compared to 2020 (Blockchain told Fortune two months ago it had posted $1.5 billion to-date).
But let’s unpack these numbers for a moment: $18 billion? I’m skeptical.
The London-based company only recently closed a $300 million Series C funding round at the end of March, in which it was valued at $5.2 billion. Now the company is attempting to nearly quadruple that valuation.
The question here is whether that could pan out. Sure, a company can aim for whatever valuation it wants. But only a handful of blockchain-focused companies are actually securing valuations that high: Coinbase has a market cap of $54.8 billion, as of this morning; FTX was valued at $25 billion in October. Crypto companies may be luring the eyes of venture capitalists right now, but double-digit valuations are a stretch for nearly anyone. Crypto exchange and custodian Gemini was valued at $7.1 billion last month. Kraken was valued at $10.3 billion back in April. OpenSea, the largest peer-to-peer marketplace, had a $1.5 billion valuation in July.
Blockchain.com is a small peer in the exchange world, with only about $32.8 million in daily volume compared to Binance ($15.5 billion) or Gemini ($146.6 million), according to CoinMarketCap data. Even if it’s leaning more into its institutional lending business (it says it has processed $3.7 billion in loans), I’d be skeptical that those numbers could warrant such a hefty valuation.
That being said, valuations are hyper-inflated at the moment. “That’s the world we live in,” says Bradley Tusk, CEO of Tusk Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that has invested in Coinbase and Circle. On the one hand, “a lot of valuations feel totally out of control,” he says. The other end of that: “There are other times when we realize that this is where the market has gone to—this is where it is.”
In the case of Blockchain.com, he says, they very well may not land the valuation they’re after, unless it’s stemming from an offer already on the table.
Back to Montana: A private equity firm is buying up distressed land out in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, then cleaning it up. But in this market, ranches can be hard to come by, writes Jennifer Alsever for Fortune.
All eyes on Europe: Venture capital is having a good year in general, but the numbers are particularly plump In Europe. There are 70 startups that became unicorns thus far in 2021 within Europe and Israel—up from only 19 in 2020. There’s more data here from Pitchbook.
See you tomorrow,
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