Bitmain’s latest funding round is quickly becoming a lot less star-studded.
Hong Kong-based financial publication AAStocks reports that both Tencent and Softbank have issued public statements denying their participation in the bitcoin mining giant’s latest funding round, which multiple outlets had said was expected to raise $1 billion.
Chinese publication QQ had earlier reported that Softbank, Uber’s largest shareholder, and Tencent, China’s largest technology company, were headlining Bitmain’s final pre-IPO financing round, intended to earn the firm a $15 billion valuation before it files for its public offering in Hong Kong. The media outlet further said that Bitmain expected to debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) with a $30 billion market cap.
According to sources cited in a recent Bloomberg article, this latest funding round appears to be intact, albeit without Tencent and Softbank as headliners. However, there is much debate about how much Bitmain, which is said to have raked in $1.1 billion in profit in Q1 alone, believes it can raise through its impending IPO.
A leaked investor deck recently circulated on social media indicated that the public offering could raise as much as $18 billion, which would make Bitmain one of the world’s most valuable tech startups. The Bloomberg source, though, said that the IPO was likely to raise just $3 billion, which would be the largest-ever cryptocurrency IPO but nevertheless far below the target reported earlier.
It’s also not clear how much the cryptocurrency market downturn will dampen Bitmain’s IPO prospects, assuming the company goes public before prices begin a period of sustained recovery. The China-based firm, as CCN reported, has a burgeoning AI business that CEO Jihan Wu expects could bring in half of the company’s revenue within five years. However, the company has become so closely associated with the bitcoin mining industry that the downturn may suppress investor appetites.
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