BlockFi, a cryptoasset to USD lender, announced it has raised $52.5M to expand operations.Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC, a digital currency and blockchain technology investment firm founded byMike Novogratz led the deal. This marks the industry’s first institutional investment in cryptoasset backed loans. BlockFi’s existing investors, which include ConsenSys Ventures and PJC, also participated in the funding round.
“We’re excited to partner with BlockFi and jointly lead the way for financial institutions to participate in crypto investing strategies,” said Mike Novogratz, Founder of Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC. “A robust lending market is the keystone for financial systems and BlockFi’s institutional approach and deep lending expertise were key drivers in our decision to partner with them.”
BlockFi’s lending product is currently the fastest and most affordable option for cryptoasset-backed USD borrowing with the largest geographic coverage in the US market. The company’s success has been highlighted by positive reviews from early clients, many of whom used their loan to invest in real estate, start businesses, diversify into traditional investments or pay down higher-cost debt.
“Galaxy’s investment and decision to make us their exclusive consumer lending partner is a strategic step towards BlockFi delivering large scale credit across the crypto ecosystem,” said CEO and co-founder Zac Prince. “The support we’ve seen from existing clients and investors highlights the strong demand for leveraging Bitcoin and Ether for low-cost USD loans. We look forward to expanding our services to support more cryptocurrencies and geographic markets in the near future.”
BlockFi sets itself apart from other cryptoasset lenders by pairing the lowest rates for crypto-to-USD borrowing with institutional-quality benefits. The company is the lender with the most state lending licenses in the country because it has invested heavily in a robust legal and compliance approach.
As part of the investment, Chris Ferraro, Head of Principal Investments at Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC joined the BlockFi Board of Directors. Rene van Kesteren, a former Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, joined BlockFi as Chief Risk Officer this past May. These appointments are significant additions to an already deep team of fintech and banking veterans who have migrated to the blockchain industry from the traditional finance sector.
“BlockFi has differentiated itself in the lending business with capital cost and scale, which will help them raise incremental institutional capital as demand grows”, said Chris Ferraro, Head of Principal Investments at Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC. “We believe BlockFi’s risk management lens, regulatory approach, and marketing capabilities position the firm to be the market leader.”