Anchorage Digital, the first federally chartered digital asset bank, raised $350 million in a funding round led by private equity firm KKR & Co., pushing its valuation to just over $3 billion.
The funding is intended to help jump start the crypto-custody platform’s growth — both physically and digitally — with co-founders Diogo Mónica and Nathan McCauley planning to expand into Asia and Europe, hire more talent and further explore emerging digital asset products such as nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
“The [funding] will allow us to expand internationally in a more aggressive manner,” Mónica said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Companies touching crypto have feverishly raised capital this year, driven by a yearlong climb in digital asset prices and the successful public debut of Coinbase Global Inc. The firm previously raised $80 million in Series C round in February led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
The San Francisco-based company’s core business continues to be providing custodial services to institutions, but has expanded into trading, lending and decentralized-finance tools as more financial institutions including payments and credit-card companies push into the crypto space.
Anchorage previously received backing from Visa in 2019 alongside venture capital firms Blockchain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz and now powers Visa’s new crypto-native settlement transactions in addition to providing custodial services for Visa’s first NFT purchase — CryptoPunk #7610.
Started in 2017, Anchorage was first famous for its password-less way of protecting digital assets and made waves again earlier this year after receiving conditional approval to become the first federally chartered digital asset bank.
The charter — which allows Anchorage to act as custodian to traditional banks — was granted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the last days of leadership under Brian Brooks, who was formerly on Coinbase’s legal team and now represents Bitfury Group Ltd. Prior to that, such charters were determined state by state, and looking ahead, it’s uncertain whether the OCC’s crypto-friendly posture under Brooks will be maintained with the Biden administration.
“We’re starting to see companies in this space that, like Anchorage, have proven leadership teams and models that are ready for the next level of growth that our capital and expertise can support and accelerate,” Ben Pederson, a director at KKR’s growth team, said.