London-based Copper Technologies has been unable to close its widely reported $500 million funding round, according to three people familiar with the situation.
The fact that Copper, a crypto custody firm, is one of the U.K. crypto businesses stuck in the Financial Conduct Authority’s temporary registration process has been a problem for prospective investors Accel Partners and Tiger Global, the people said.
“Tiger, and presumably some of the other investors, had wanted to make the closing process tied to the FCA approval,” one of the people said. “So some combination of downsizings or pulling out of the round happened with the investor consortium.”
A second person said Accel had “walked away from the deal,” and that Tiger has cut its intended investment in the round to about a quarter of what was initially a nine-figure commitment.
Accel Partners did not respond to requests for comment. Tiger Global declined to comment. A Copper spokesperson said the firm could not comment since the round is ongoing.
Copper, which raised $75 million of Series B funding in the middle of last year, shares a place with 11 other firms on the FCA’s temporary registration regime, which was extended last week. Other firms that have been waiting in line for FCA approval include the likes of fintech major Revolut and crypto platform Blockchain.com, which recently announced a $14 billion valuation.
The funding difficulties could be the last straw for U.K.-headquartered Copper, which is already looking towards Switzerland; last month the firm incorporated Copper Technologies (Switzerland) AG in the canton of Zug.
“It’s not showing the FCA in a very good light,” said a London-based crypto source. “This registration process has frankly been a disaster, and as a result, some very large and successful crypto businesses are leaving the U.K. and won’t come back. So that’s a lot of tax revenue and something of a blow to London as a fintech hub.”
The FCA did not respond to requests for comment.
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.