Overstock’s tZERO Token Market Misses Closing Date for $100 Million Raise

Anna Baydakova
Apr 18, 2019 at 22:00 UTC
news

Overstock’s tZERO security token trading platform has once again failed to close on a capital injection by the targeted date.

In a letter to shareholders Thursday, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said the $100 million investment led by Makara Capital and GSR Capital that was agreed upon in February and scheduled for completion in mid-April had not closed.

“Makara’s due diligence has progressed, and in the course of its due diligence Makara has proven to be a professional and serious fund. Still, the parties will not have a definitive deal in place by the mid-April target,” Byrne wrote.

“tZERO plans to continue facilitating Makara’s diligence, but is not under any exclusivity with Makara or GSR and has retained advisors to pursue parallel alternatives,” he added.

Byrne added that GSR is still is obliged to buy $30 million worth of tZERO tokens under a binding agreement it signed last year, and the purchase must be completed May 6, three days before Overstock’s next scheduled shareholder meeting.

This was the second time a tZERO deal with investors fell through, after GSR backed off its intention to invest $404 million in Overstock and tZERO earlier this year.

Focus on execution

The saga of Overstock’s negotiations with the two Asian funds started last summer.

In August the company announced GSR would buy $270 million worth of tZERO equity (valuing the operation at $1.5 billion), $30 million of tZERO tokens from Overstock.com and up to $104.55 million in shares of Overstock.com. The deal was scheduled to close in December, but shortly before the deadline GSR asked for an extension until the end of February.

However, on March 1, Overstock announced that the deal hadn’t closed, and instead of investing $404 million, GSR had brought in another investor, Makara, to “co-lead an investment of up to $100 million in tZERO common stock.”

The new deal was scheduled to close this month, but now it looks like tZERO will turn to look for other investors.

So far tZERO’s major source of funding is still its parent company, Overstock, which earlier planned to sell its flagship e-commerce business this year, but that plan was set aside. Overstock has decided to keep its retail business and focus on making it profitable, executives said on the company’s last earnings call.

Other goals are getting tZERO’s crypto trading app, scheduled for launch in June, into production and opening tZERO for retail investors in August, according to Byrne’s Thirsday’s letter.

“Our retail firm is recovering more dramatically than I anticipated and discussed during our Q4 2018 earnings call,” Byrne said. “In addition, tZERO is on track to introduce the products described in that phone call. Our intense focus on execution is paying off.”

Image of Patrick Byrne by Anna Baydakova for CoinDesk

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