With $100 Million in Fresh Funding, Coinbase Joins Unicorn Club

Digital currency wallet Coinbase has taken the leap to become a unicorn today. The San Francisco-based company announced it has received $100 million in Series D funding led by IVP. Other investors include Spark Capital, Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures, Section 32, and Draper Associates.

Today’s investment brings the company’s total funding to $217 million; Pitchbook estimates Coinbase is now valued at $1.6 billion. This makes the company one of only a handful of unicorns (startups with more than $1 billion valuations) in fintech and crowns Coinbase as the first bitcoin unicorn.

Since it was founded in 2012, Coinbase has now exchanged more than $25 billion worth of digital currency for its clients. Almost $15 billion of this occurred in the first half of 2017 alone. The company plans to put the new funds to work in three ways. First, Coinbase plans to expand its engineering and customer support teams. Second, it will open a GDAX office in New York City to better position itself to serve professional traders. Third, it will invest in the digital currency Toshi to build it into a global payments network.

Coinbase, which supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin in 32 countries, offers three main products:

  • Coinbase: an exchange platform for digital currency
  • GDAX: exchange platform for professional U.S. traders and institutions
  • Toshi: a browser for the Ethereum network

The company notes that with this funding, it is preparing to transition into phase three of its “secret master plan,” that is, it plans to build a consumer interface for decentralized digital currency apps. Coinbase, which demoed Instant Exchange at FinovateSpring 2014, has made headlines twice today– the first instance highlighting its View Balance feature in partnership with Fidelity Labs.

Fidelity Partners with Coinbase on View Balance Feature

The innovation division of Fidelity Investments, Fidelity Labs, and digital asset exchange Coinbase released a new balance viewing feature for investors this week. The move may be a small step for Fidelity brokerage clients who want to see their digital currency assets alongside their other investments. But it is an interesting sign from a company that helped drive mass adoption of and investment in another revolutionary asset class – mutual funds – more than two decades ago.

As Project Manager Kristen Stone noted at the Coinbase blog, the view balance feature was tested on Fidelity employees with digital currency accounts at Coinbase earlier this year. The popularity of the feature led Fidelity to expand the offering to all its customers, which Stone called a testament “to the continued commitment of traditional financial institutions to adopt digital assets and widen access for customers.”

Linking Coinbase accounts to Fidelity is straightforward. Select Add Non-Fidelity Accounts from the All Accounts dashboard. A pop-up enables users to choose between accounts to be added, with the Coinbase option featured. The user will then be taken to their Coinbase account where they can authorize access and complete the account linking process.

This partnership is a small example of how Fidelity has begun to embrace digital assets. Writing for The Street.com, Brian O’Connell and Ross Kenneth Urken noted that the company allows Bitcoin transactions in its corporate cafeteria, and Fidelity employees can donate in Bitcoin to the company’s Charitable Donor Advised Fund. The authors suggested that having a $6 trillion AUM investment company take interest in digital currencies adds a measure of validation for the assets, which are still in infancy.

“Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies are emerging from their infancy but mass adoption is still many years away,” Fidelity Labs Managing Director and SVP Hadley Stern said. At the same time, Stern warned against underestimating the attraction of digital assets and the underlying technology. “Just as many other technologies have done in the past, Bitcoin and blockchain will transform how we manage our finances.”

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Coinbase demonstrated its Instant Exchange at FinovateSpring 2014. A member of CB Insights Fintech 250, Coinbase announced a pilot integration with Western Union in June and added support for Litecoin in May. Coinbase launched its open source, combination messaging app and ethereum wallet, Token, in April. The company has raised more than $112 million in funding, and includes Andreessen Horowitz, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), and Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi among its investors. Brian Armstrong is co-founder and CEO.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fidelity Partners with Coinbase on View Balance Feature
  • PayPal Strengthens Lending Arm with Swift Financial Acquisition.
  • With $100 Million in Fresh Funding, Coinbase Joins Unicorn Club

Around the web

  • Mambu to power lending products of Fuse, the lending arm of Filipino financial technology firm Mynt
  • Central Payment Announces Partnership with CardFlight to Offer SwipeSimple Mobile POS to Merchants.
  • CustomerXPs positioned again as Enterprise Solution in 2017 Chartis RiskTech Quadrant for Enterprise Fraud Technology
  • FutureVault appoints new Chief Revenue Officer, Trevor Marshall.
  • Karmic now powers Lowe’s PreLoad prepaid payment and expense management technology.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Roostify Celebrates Growth, Role of External Developers on its Platform.
  • Emirates NBD Enlists Efigence for UX/UI Makeover.

Around the web

  • Icon Solutions initiates functional testing between the Instant Payments Framework and EBA Clearing’s RT1 platform.
  • Infosys to acquire product design and CX specialist, Brilliant Basics.
  • TechCrunch: Coinbase to provide support for Bitcoin Bash in 2018.
  • RealtyMogul.com celebrates the first anniversary of the first crowdfunded REIT, MogulREIT 1.
  • AutoGravity announces reaching 500,000 download milestone for its app.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

44 Alums Populate CB Insights’ Fintech 250 List

This week, CB Insights unveiled its Fintech 250 list. The research outfit selected 250 emerging, private companies in 17 sub-sectors of fintech that are changing the face of financial services. The roster includes 44 Finovate and FinDEVr alums that were selected using CB Insights’ data-driven process that analyzes company momentum, market participation, funds raised, and investor quality.

The list is in alphabetical order.

Algomi

AutoGravity

Avalara

Behalf

Betterment

Blend

Chain

Coinbase

Credit Karma

Currencycloud

CurrencyFair

Fenergo

Financeit

Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)

Juvo

Kabbage

Kensho

Kreditech

Klarna

LendUp

Moneytree

PayNearMe

Payoneer

Personal Capital

Plaid

Quantopian

Quovo

Revolut

Ripple Labs

Roostify

Signifyd

SocietyOne

Socure

Tink

Token

Tradeshift

Transferwise

TrueAccord

Trulioo

VATBox

Wealthfront

Xignite

Zooz

Zopa

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Yoyo Wallet Raises $15 Million in Series B.
  • Flywire Teams with PayPal for Cross-Border Payments Method.
  • Fintonic to Use $28 Million Round to Move Beyond Loans and Insurance.

Around the web

  • IdentityMind Global to offer Confirm.io’s document authentication technology to its financial services customers.
  • transcosmos to integrate with Tradeshift Japan to help businesses digitalize their indirect operations and accelerate transactional speed
  • Coinbase is reimbursing losses caused by the Ethereum flash crash.
  • Backbase scores fintech deal in Norway with SSF Bank.
  • Fiserv partners with GoldBean to provide a digital adviser offering extra assistance.
  • Meniga & Islandsbanki partner to deploy new card-linked offer platform reaching more than 30% of households in Iceland.
  • Jumio partners with Monzo for strong identity verification.
  • mBank moves into fintech vendor space with new digital banking system.
  • JCB International partners with iSignthis to enable SEPA transactions.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fidor Solutions Brings on former ABN Amro Exec as CIO.
  • European Alums Shine in FinTechCity’s FinTech50 2017 Roster.
  • Klarna Receives Investment from Brightfolk
  • Newchip Helps New Investors Own a Piece of the Startup Economy.

Around the web

  • PSCU partners with Ethoca to improve CNP fraud loss recoveries for CUs.
  • Zopa opens development centre in Barcelona, Spain ahead of bank launch.
  • HedgeCoVest launches DEPLOY to handle day-to-day operations of separately managed accounts
  • StrategyCorps BaZing rewards-based mobile app has deployed nearly 400k geofences in conjunction with local deals
  • Western Union reveals pilot Coinbase integration.
  • DefenseStorm experiences 100% customer renewal rate for second consecutive year.
  • Moven fintech partnership wins CANSTAR Award for innovation excellence.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • AutoGravity Brings its Auto Loan Financing Solution to the Garden State.

Around the web

  • Roostify names Sandeep Aji as Vice President of Products.
  • Symbiont partners with PrivateMarket.io to build alternative investment marketplace for closed-end funds.
  • Myanmar-based AYA Bank (Ayeyarwady Bank) chooses core banking technology from Misys.
  • NetGuardians wins spot in Euro Banking Association’s EBAday 2017 conference.
  • Clients of Nodus Technologies gain access to PCI-validated P2PE technology courtesy of new partnership with Bluefin Payment Systems.
  • Wall Street Journal reports Coinbase meeting with investors over a new round of funding that would lead to a billion dollar valuation.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

Around the web

  • CardFlight unveils new line of mobile card readers to support secure EMV and NFC contactless payments.
  • Jack Henry & Associates announces strategic services agreement with First Data and PSCU.
  • Gartner recognizes OutSystems as a leader in enterprise high productivity application platform as a service technology.
  • Signifyd honored by American Business Awards.
  • Backbase to power digital banking for Zensar.
  • Cortera to power small business credit risk data for LexisNexis
  • Coinbase adds support for Litecoin

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Coinbase Launches Open Source Ethereum Wallet to Promote Financial Inclusion

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 3.45.00 PM

Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet company Coinbase has been doing some spring cleaning lately. Earlier this week, the company launched a developer preview of its new tool, Token.

Coinbase describes Token as a combination of a private, secure messaging app, a mobile browser for Ethereum apps, and an Ethereum wallet. The system was created to work like a global, open protocol version of China’s WeChat, India’s PayTM, and Kenya’s mPESA— all apps that drive large volumes of digital payments.

Because the app is made for small value payments, Coinbase opted to build Token for Ethereum, which has lower transaction fees than Bitcoin. In order to let users know who they can trust when it comes to money transfers, Token created a reputation system that allows users to build their trust profile each time they transact with others.

token

The impetus behind the new launch is to promote financial inclusion across the globe. In the blog post announcing Token, Coinbase wrote, “We believe that everyone in the world should have access to financial services, and with smartphones becoming ubiquitous, digital currency can make that happen.” The company has long term goals to “provide financial services to the 2 billion people in the developing world who have a cell phone, but don’t have access to a bank account; make it dramatically easier for people to build and use Ethereum applications; and shift digital currency from being just a speculative investment to being a payment network for useful goods and services.”

Founded in 2012, Coinbase serves as a digital currency wallet and offers tools to help merchants accept digital currencies at physical and digital points-of-sale. At FinovateSpring 2014, the company debuted Instant Exchange, a tool to help merchants avoid currency volatility when accepting digital currencies. Last month, Coinbase was granted approval to extend ether trades in New York and began offering margin trading to allow users to trade up to 3X leveraged orders on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin order books.