Tiger Global, a U.K. hedge fund that invests mainly in global consumer brands, is reportedly considering a $500 million investment in Coinbase, which would boost the startup’s valuation close to $8 billion and strengthen the cryptocurrency market’s legitimacy, according to sources that spoke to Recode. The investment would make Coinbase one of the highest valued U.S. startups.
The investment in part would buy out existing shareholders, although the specific numbers have not been determined.
Valuation More Than Quadrupling
Last summer, Coinbase was valued at close to $1.5 billion. The valuation came right before a spike in consumer interest in cryptocurrencies at the end of 2017. Since then, the company’s business has weakened due to a decline in cryptocurrency prices. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and others have been quick to point out that they do not focus on short-term trading volume as much as opening the financial system up for the world.
Coinbase claims it is profitable and, per the report, has been negotiating with investors for most of the year concerning a secondary stock sale to allow them to cash out without forcing the company to raise new funds. The company warned people at one point to stop soliciting shareholders, and an agreement was never reached. The company declined to answer Recode’s questions on the topic.
Coinbase reportedly tried to value itself at $8 billion in its acquisition of Earn.com this year, its largest to date, and is said to have been scaling for a possible IPO.
The cryptocurrency industry giant recently named Chris Dodd of Charles Schwab to its board, having lost Facebook’s David Marcus as an independent director over the summer. The company also recently hired Michael Li, a senior executive and head of analytics and data science at LinkedIn, as its new vice president of data.