Coinbase, long one of the largest companies in the crypto industry, now ranks among the world's most valuable tech startups following the conclusion of a new funding round.
The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange operator announced on Tuesday that it had closed a $300 million Series E funding round led by Tiger Global Management. The funding round, which Coinbase President & COO Asiff Hirji said gave the company a valuation of more than $8 billion, also featured participation from Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and Polychain Capital.
Writing in the announcement, Hirji said that Coinbase, which recently outlined a new crypto token listing framework, plans to "quickly" list more cryptocurrencies, adding that "we see hundreds of cryptocurrencies that could be added to our platform today and we will lay the groundwork to support thousands in the future."
Speaking with Bloomberg, he said that Coinbase did not need the funding but pursued it for "opportunistic" reasons. Citing company documents, the report states that Coinbase achieved a record $380 million in profit in 2017 and -- despite the bitcoin bear market -- estimates that profit will grow to $456 million in 2018 with revenue approaching $1.3 billion.
“The companies interested in investing in us know that this is the next wave of tech innovation,” Hirji told the publication. “This was an opportunistic round. We didn’t have to go out and raise capital."
Reports had long circulated that Coinbase had internally valued itself at $8 billion, though this valuation had not been confirmed by the market -- until now.
According to Bloomberg, Coinbase had attempted to conduct the funding round at an even higher valuation but found that the crypto market decline had made some investors hesitant about overpricing a cryptocurrency-focused startup.
"For this round, we simply weren’t interested in taking investments from firms that didn’t have a constructive view of crypto," Hirji said. "This round, and the future of crypto in general, needs to be about more than asset prices."
In addition to listing new cryptocurrencies, the firm intends to use this financing to further its global expansion plans and add new features and supported cryptocurrencies to its institutional platform, which recently received approval from New York regulators to operate as a qualified custodian. Moreover, Hirji suggested that Coinbase will prioritize developing more "utility applications" for cryptocurrency, noting its decision to serve as a co-founder of the USD Coin stablecoin project as an example of this commitment.
Previously, Recode had reported that Tiger Global was considering a $500 million investment in Coinbase, with at least a portion of those funds being used to purchase shares on the secondary market.
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