UPDATED 20:26 EST / JULY 08 2021

BLOCKCHAIN

Crypto and blockchain firm Circle to go public, raising funds via SPAC deal on $4.5B valuation

Cryptocurrency and blockchain services provider Circle Internet Financial Inc. is the latest to jump on the SPAC bandwagon as the company announced today that it plans to go public through a special-purpose acquisition company merger.

The deal will see Circle merge with Concord Acquisition Corp., a SPAC currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange and values the company at $4.5 billion. The merger will provide Circle with more than $1.1 billion in gross proceeds, including $415 million in private investment in public equity. PIPE participants include Marshall Wave, Fidelity Management, Adage Capital, accounts advised by ARK Investment and Third Point.

Founded in 2013, Circle initially started as a consumer finance company utilizing blockchain technology but has since evolved into cryptocurrency investment, exchange and payments service.

Circle offers a range of products but is perhaps best known for USD Coin, a “stablecoin” launched in 2018. USDC has grown by more than 3,400% since early 2021, with more than $25 billion USDC in circulation, powering in excess of $785 billion in on-chain transactions.

The company’s primary services include Circle Pay, a registered money transmission service that allows users to send money to other users in various currencies, with cryptocurrency used as the transfer vehicle. Circle Trade is an over-the-counter cryptocurrency exchange for high-end trading with a minimum trade of $250,000. A service called Circle Invest allows people to invest in cryptocurrencies, and Polinex, acquired by Circle in February 2018, allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrency as they please.

Other services include Circle Accounts,  a service to store digital assets, and Circle API, which provides an application programming interface for service integrations. Circle has also announced three new services recently: Circle Yield, a product to make money on cryptocurrency balances, DeFi APIs for Decentralized Finance, and SeedInvest, a service to help companies raise capital.

“While this transaction and the transformation of Circle into a global, publicly listed company is exciting in and of itself, it is merely a marker in our journey to transform the world’s economic system using internet-native technologies,” Circle co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Allaire (pictured) said in a blog post. “We have a long way to go in pursuing our mission.”

Coming into its SPAC merger, Circle had raised $711 million in venture capital funding, according to Crunchbase. Investors include Bitmain, IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group, Pantera, Blockchain Capital and Tusk Ventures.

The SPAC merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to the approval of both companies.

Photo: World Economic Forum/Flickr

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