NEW YORK - Digital assets platform FalconX was valued at $8 billion in a new funding round led by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC and B Capital, more than doubling its valuation in 10 months, its chief executive and founder Raghu Yarlagadda told Reuters, despite a the recent slump in crypto markets.
This funding round totaled $150 million from new and existing investors, bringing fresh capital to the company, even with an unfavorable market environment for cryptocurrencies. Not all money will go the company's coffers as some investors also sold an undisclosed stake in FalconX.
The deal comes as FalconX plans to increase its workforce by 30% in the coming months, adding 55 new employees to the company. It also intends to use the proceeds in acquisitions, technology and data analytics, expanding its services to institutions from trading execution, credit and prime brokerage, Yarlagadda said.
"Over the next 12 to 18 months, we do expect a very volatile market. And, given that volatility, we see very strong opportunities for acquisitions," said Yarlagadda.
Besides GIC, new investors in the company include private equity firm Thoma Bravo and Adams Street Capital, while existing investors Tiger Global Management, Thoma Bravo and Wellington Management poured more money in FalconX.
Yarlagadda said the environment for funding raising has become more challenging for crypto companies.
"The big theme as we spoke with these investors is the flight to value because investors are no longer looking at growth at any cost," he said. "Now, investors are very specific about sustainable growth. They're looking at profitability."
Cryptocurrency valuations have plunged in recent weeks as investors dump risky assets in a rising interest rate environment, raising fears of recession. Over the weekend, the world's biggest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, dropped below the key $20,000 level for the first time since December 2020.
Yarlagadda said the platform is already profitable and has reached record number of customers, without further disclosing details.
(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Lincoln Feast)