Major crypto company Blockchain.com is allegedly in talks over down-round fundraising that could see its valuation slashed by more than 70%.
The crypto exchange reportedly aims to raise funds at a fraction of the $14 billion valuation it achieved earlier this year, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
“The fundraising would follow strategic financing the company obtained in the third quarter at an unspecified valuation from investors led by UK-based investment firm Kingsway Capital,” the report said.
While nothing has been locked down and talks to raise money are still preliminary, the digital asset company is likely to raise funds at a valuation of $3 billion to $4 billion, down by more than 70% compared to its latest fundraising round.
In late March, Blockchain.com reached a $14 billion valuation in a Series D funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. While the company didn’t disclose the amount raised, it had raised $300 million in March last year at a valuation of $5.2 billion.
According to Bloomberg, the upcoming down round reflects the dwindling interest in blockchain startups as the crypto market goes through a bear market that has seen the flagship cryptocurrency, as well as almost all other crypto assets, lose roughly 70% of their value from all-time highs last year.
Meanwhile, VC funding in crypto startups dropped by 37% YoY to $4.44 billion in Q3 2022, according to a research report by PitchBook. When compared to Q1 2022 when VC investors injected a record $8.83 billion into crypto and blockchain startup companies, the decline is almost 50%.
Blockchain.com Faced $250M Hit on Loans to 3AC
In a letter to shareholders in early July, Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith said that Three Arrows Capital (3AC), the over-leveraged hedge fund that is now subject to liquidation, “is rapidly becoming insolvent and the default impact is approximately [USD] 270 million worth of cryptocurrency and US dollar loans from Blockchain.com.”
At the time, Smith highlighted that Blockchain.com “remains liquid, solvent and our customers will not be impacted.” However, the company laid off 25% of its staff, or about 150 people, in July in order to cut costs.
Founded in 2011, Blockchain.com is one of the longest-running startups in the cryptocurrency industry and developed one of the earliest blockchain explorers and one of the earliest web browser wallets. The platform claims to have 37 million verified users, and that one-third of bitcoin network transactions are conducted through it.