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This Uber Co-Founder’s Bitcoin Brokerage Just Went Public in Canada

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:53 PM
Yashu Gola
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:53 PM

Voyager, a brokerage startup that helps users easily find the best prices for Bitcoin and other crypto assets, has gone public in Canada on the Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V) through a reverse merger reportedly  worth $60 million.

The privately-held company co-launched by ex-Uber CTO Oscar Salazar acquired publicly-traded company UC Resources Ltd. Voyager entered a share-purchase agreement with the former mineral exploration company, which led to the formation of a newly merged venture, dubbed Voyager Digital (Canada) Ltd.

The new company listed its shares on the TSX Venture Exchange under a new symbol VYGR.V on February 11.

Public Listing Brings Bitcoin Brokerage Voyager ‘High Level of Trust’

Stephen Ehrlich, the chief executive officer at Voyager, said that their decision to go public would bring “a high level of trust” to their customers. He wrote on the company’s blog :

“By becoming a publicly traded entity, Voyager allows the traditional investing community to tap the public markets for exposure to this important asset class and financial utility that is built upon the technology of the future.”

Steve Ehrlich, Founding CEO of Voyager

The listing, added Ehrlich, would enable equities traders to invest in the cryptocurrency economy indirectly by buying Voyager’s shares, explaining:

“This type of exposure will help more people become comfortable with the crypto market and ultimately increase widespread adoption.”

Launched in July 2018, Voyager proposes to offer the easiest way to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The startup provides a mobile app that compares crypto asset prices across multiple exchanges for traders. As a result, traders get the best value offers for their crypto orders. Notably, the service charges no commissions – Voyager earns revenue by capturing small spreads on each price improvement delivery.

In a CCN.com exclusive, Ehrlich explained the mechanics with which they match the best orders for their users. He said:

“Best execution has four components: price, quantity, the depth of liquidity, and the reliability of the API on the exchanges. We look at all those factors and try to get you the best execution possible. […] We’ve built a really detailed, complex algorithm to make sure that we can execute across all those exchanges and still be able to bring back the best execution quality back to our customer.”

Winning Potential Investors

Whether or not investors find Voyager’s innovation and business model feasible is unclear at this point. The infamous crypto crash of 2018 discouraged many potential investors from entering the market. Vague regulations , security risks, low liquidity, and price manipulation further kept institutions out of the Bitcoin market.

Ehrlich stressed that “transparency” was the solution to drive more people towards cryptocurrencies. He said that investors would be less fearful and doubtful when they interact with licensed firms like theirs.

“We are legally required to disclose both quarterly and annual reports as well as mergers, acquisitions, insider trading, securities transactions by company insiders, and ownership changes,” Ehrlich wrote.

At the same time, the CEO added that they were under an obligation to bring gains to their shareholders’ investments.

Voyager has raised $7 million in private funding, and the most recent round valued it at $60 million. The startup says that about half a dozen institutional trading platforms have signed up to use its APIs. Meanwhile, it has partnered with ten market makers and exchanges to maintain liquidity.

As of the time of writing, Voyager had secured a money transmitter license in ten US states. The startup is planning to expand into twenty more states in 2019.

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