NYDIG said Tuesday it raised a stunning $1 billion in a funding round that will value the firm at over $7 billion – and potentially expand bitcoin’s reach into “any industry,” CEO Robert Gutmann said in a statement.
The round was led by WestCap and joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, FinTech Collective and existing investors Affirm, FIS, Fiserv, MassMutual, Morgan Stanley and New York Life, a press release said.
The magnitude of the raise reflects NYDIG’s move to become something of a hybrid in terms of Bitcoin infrastructure, straddling both the institutional trading realm and also looking ahead toward consumer uses, NYDIG Chief Innovation Officer Patrick Sells told CoinDesk.
Sells likened the firm’s various partnerships, wallet integrations and infrastructure to something like AWS in the traditional web space – hence the large amount of interest in joining the funding round.
”Instead of trying to build a retail crypto exchange that was out competing for customers, we wanted to empower incumbents to be able to offer access to bitcoin in a variety of ways,” Sells said in an interview.
This involves a mission to embed Bitcoin wallets into anyone’s application, which could be a bank offering crypto trading or hospitality brand Landry’s giving customers bitcoin rewards.
“The round is what it is because that value proposition has resonated across the entire country,” Sells said. “Starting next year, America is going to see bitcoin showing up everywhere in all kinds of applications. And that’s the NYDIG business model.”
As for powering the new approach, Tuesday’s press release touts plans to “further develop NYDIG’s institutional-grade Bitcoin platform using recent upgrades to the Bitcoin protocol with capabilities such as Bitcoin and Lightning payments, asset tokenization and smart contracts.”
Tuesday’s billion-dollar raise tops crypto exchange FTX’s $900 million funding round announced in July.
Reflecting the currently heady state of crypto venture capital, FTX is said to be raising a $1.5 billion funding round at a $32 billion valuation.
Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, is currently trading at $47,211, down nearly 30% over the past month.
UPDATE (Dec. 14, 16:17 UTC): Adds information from interview with NYDIG CIO Patrick Sells.
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