As cryptocurrencies take on a life of their own, a Bitcoin startup has finally attained the “unicorn” title. The ‘Unicorn’ title is an honor bestowed upon startups that cross the $1 billion valuation mark.
Coinbase, a brokerage that established itself as one of the biggest brands in the cryptocurrency market, raised $100 million at a private valuation of $1.6 billion in its Series D round. The venture capital firm Institutional Venture Partners led the round.
IVP has also invested in Dropbox, Netflix, Twitter, Slack, and Snap. The funding round also included Spark Capital, Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures, Section 32, and Draper Associates.
Coinbase was rumored to be raising around $100 million at a valuation of $1 billion or more, as the Wall Street Journal reported in June. This deal is now complete.
In previous fundraising rounds, Coinbase raised a total of $117 million at a private valuation of around $500 million. That sum already made it one of the most well financed Bitcoin ventures around, next to Circle and 21. The previous investors for Coinbase were Andreessen Horowitz, the New York Stock Exchange, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, USAA, BBVA, and others.
The five-year-old startup plans to build on its offering for professional traders and institutions and is opening a GDAX office in New York City. The company also intends to use this new funding to develop its latest offering Toshi, an Ethereum-based browser that makes apps do things like pay users for consuming an ad.
Coinbase facilitated almost $15 billion worth of transactions in digital currency exchange in just the first half of 2017, which is 5 times more than its transactional value through all of 2016. At this pace, analysts predict the startup may see a ten-fold increase in transaction volume from 2016 to 2017.
With cryptocurrencies paving the way for the future of transactions and money, Coinbase is pretty much the first in the race to dominate the bitcoin market. While they’re ahead of the competition, it will only be a matter of time before the others catch up.