European bitcoin exchange Safello says it has raised 11 million Swedish krona ($1.3 million) to cover the costs of a planned initial public offering in the first half of 2021.
The Stockholm-based company aims to list on Nasdaq's First North Growth Market, it announced Friday.
The investment, via an issuance of new shares, came from Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk's parent company. Venture capital firms Northzone, White Star Capital, and Techstars already have stakes in the exchange.
Frank Schuil, Safello CEO and co-founder, told CoinDesk he had considered issuing shares digitally as tokenized securities but he concluded the technology has “not matured to a level we feel comfortable with.” As such, Safello is “going the traditional route," he said.
The Nasdaq First North listing is a "big thing” for Safello and it is about "trust building" with regulators, according to Schuil. The listing approval process will involve Swedish financial regulators who will closely scrutinize the company and its prospectus.
The firm sees the current bull market as being favorable timing for the IPO announcement. “Timing-wise, we have always been successful. Our first investment round was at the peak of the bull market in 2013, and our last investment round was at the peak of 2017,” said Schuil.
“We look at the long-term prospect of crypto and blockchain. While we see the price swings, we know the swings and we can anticipate the swings (for us the prices are relevant for the business) – our whole philosophy is to become profitable in a bear market,” he said.
For the IPO, Safello has hired corporate finance specialist Corpura Fondkommission as its financial adviser, and the law firms Schjødt and Kassai Law have been named legal advisers.
“We see significant interest in the crypto segment in its entirety – and in Safello as a company in particular," said Carl Kindal, partner at Corpura Fondkommission, in a statement. "This is evident as the issue was oversubscribed to SEK 48 million, which corresponds to a subscription rate of almost 500%."
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.