Crypto Infrastructure Firm Fireblocks Nearly Quadruples Valuation to $8 Billion in Six Months TechCrunch

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Crypto custody platform Fireblocks is possibly “the most successful and least known company in the blockchain space,” as described by co-founder and CEO Michael Shaulov in an interview with TechCrunch.

The company announced today that it is now the most valued digital asset infrastructure provider in the world after a valuation of $8 billion, almost four times higher than the sum it commanded during its Series D six months ago.

The new valuation coincides with Fireblocks’ Series E funding round, which raised $550 million from an investor group led jointly by hedge fund D1 Capital Partners and Spark Capital. Other participants in the round include: General Atlantic, Company IndexMammoth, Alphabet CapitalG growth fund, Altimeter, Iconiq Strategic Partners, Canapi Venturesand Parafi Growth Fundthe company said. The latest round brings the total of Fireblocks raised since its inception in 2018 to just over $1 billion.

The product enables financial institutions including Bank of New York Mellon, BlockFi and eToro to provide direct custody of digital assets. Fireblocks supports custody across 25 different blockchains, according to Shaulov.

“It’s like a SaaS software that makes it possible” [clients] to manage their own custody using their own wallet in a high-quality, secure, institutional way,” Shaulov said.

Fireblocks quickly scaled up in 2021, growing its customer base from 100 to 800 and doubling the assets secured on its platform to $2 trillion, Shaulov said. It also grew sales 600% over the year, ending up at between $50 and $100 million, although Shaulov declined to share a specific sales figure.

Two of Fireblocks’ biggest competitors in crypto custody infrastructure were acquired last year, Shaulov said. PayPal bought Curv in March and crypto exchange Coinbase acquired Israel-based Unbound Security in November, so Fireblocks doesn’t consider a specific company to be its direct competitor at this time, he added.

Fireblocks differentiates itself in the market by providing a network through which customers can interact by buying and selling transactions with each other and by supporting a wide variety of blockchains and tokens, Shaulov said.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the latest fundraiser to double its 300-strong team by the end of 2022, with a focus on hiring engineers and customer success professionals.

It also hopes to expand to new countries in regions including Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa as regulation in these locations becomes more favorable to crypto firms. 40% of his customers today are in the US, just over 30% are in Europe, and about 25% are in the Asia-Pacific region, which Shaulov noted is the fastest growing area for Fireblocks as of 2020.

In terms of crypto products, decentralized finance (DeFi) has been a particularly popular growth area for the startup, accounting for 10% of Fireblocks’ transaction volume in the past month, according to Shaulov.

“Right now, Fireblocks is the number one and go-to provider for any institution looking for some exposure to DeFi. Of our 800 customers, about 200 use our DeFi extensions connecting them using different protocols,” he said.

Fireblocks co-founders Michael Shaulov, Idan Ofrat and Pavel Berengoltz

Fireblocks co-founders Idan Ofrat, Michael Shaulov and Pavel Berengoltz Image Credits: fire blocks

The company has just launched DeFi custody offerings through the Aave Arc protocol, a version of Aave that is popular with financial institutions because it offers capabilities to easily comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

Fireblocks also offers strategic advice to clients looking to build out their digital asset capabilities and who are already using the custody platform.

“I think we’ve really managed to get this combination of high-end security and the ability to implement it at the customer, but in a way that’s pretty simple for them. They are in control but don’t have to commit a lot of resources to get started, which is great for banks, who want control but don’t have the technical resources to fully operationalize and run [custody] himself,” Shaulov said. “They can adapt” [our product] exactly according to their policies and requirements.”

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