Crypto investment product firm 21.co raised $25 million in a funding round that gave it a valuation of $2 billion and the cash to develop more crypto product offerings and expand its geographic presence after a recent foray into the U.S.
The Zurich, Switzerland-based firm is the newly formed parent company of 21Shares, one of the largest crypto exchange-traded product (ETP) issuers. 21.co also owns Onyx, a proprietary technology platform used to issue and operate ETPs. 21Shares is affiliated with token provider Amun.
The round, led by alternative investment firm Marshall Wace, comes as the crypto market faces what some observers are calling a crypto winter. The total cryptocurrency market cap has slumped to less than $1 trillion from about $3 trillion in November and bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency, has dropped 59% this year. Firms grappling with lower cryptocurrency prices have been forced to cut costs, with casualties including investment fund Three Arrows Capital and lender Celsius Network.
Despite that environment, profitability, revenue generation and growth in assets under management (AUM) all allowed for the latest fundraising, 21Shares’ co-founders Hany Rashwan and Ophelia Snyder told CoinDesk. The firm wants to expand outside of Europe and Australia into the Middle East. It reached a peak AUM of $3 billion in November 2021, before crypto's retreat.
“We find bear markets to be incredible times to build,” Rashwan said in an interview.
Other investors in the round include Collab+Currency, Quiet Ventures, ETFS Capital and Valor Equity Partners.
In May, 21Shares launched two crypto ETPs in the U.S. to capitalize on global demand. 21Shares has also teamed up with Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management in hopes of listing a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the U.S.
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