Billionaire trader and former hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz has successfully raised $250 million to finance the launch of Galaxy Digital, a cryptocurrency merchant bank that will be publicly-listed in Canada.
Novogratz-Led Galaxy Digital Raises $250 Million for Cryptocurrency Merchant Bank
Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that Novogratz and Galaxy Digital raised this sum in the midst of one of the most severe market downturns in cryptocurrency history when the Bitcoin price crashed from a peak of $19,891 to below $6,000.
Because the fundraising round was accomplished through private placement, the investor list was not made public. However, the publication’s source says that Terry Gou, the billionaire CEO of Chinese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn, was among the venture’s investors.
Novogratz, the former portfolio manager of Fortress, is also said to be moving the entirety of his cryptocurrency and blockchain investments into Galaxy Digital.
The fundraising round netted Galaxy Digital 25 percent more than the $200 million it had originally planned to raise when it announced the private placement last month.
Armed with this capital, the firm plans to buy Canadian startup First Coin Capital and then merge with Bradmer Pharmaceuticals — which is publicly listed on the Toronto-based TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V) — through a reverse takeover. Following the merger, Bradmer will be renamed to Galaxy Digital, allowing the company to trade publicly without having to undergo traditional financial disclosures associated with listing on an exchange.
‘The Goldman Sachs of Crypto’
Galaxy Digital’s cryptocurrency merchant bank — which Novogratz reportedly hopes to make the “Goldman Sachs of Crypto” — will have a fourfold business model, according to public statements made by the firm.
The bank will open a cryptocurrency trading desk and initially seek to capitalize on opportunities for cross-exchange arbitrage.It will also invest in blockchain startups and initial coin offerings (ICOs), much as Novogratz intended to do through his now-shelved cryptocurrency hedge fund. Finally, it will provide advisory and asset management services to wealthy clients.
If all goes as planned, the firm hopes be listed on the TSX-V by the end of the first quarter.
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