Cowen Leads $53 Million Series B Financing with $25 Million Strategic Investment
Blockchain.com, Race Capital, Sandia Holdings and PilotRock Investments Also Join Round
Partnership to Offer Cowen Clients Institutional-Grade Security, Compliance; Initial Focus on Custody
NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cowen Digital Asset Investment Company LLC, a division of Cowen Inc. (NASDAQ:COWN), and PolySign, Inc. today announced a strategic partnership, with the goal of enabling Cowen’s institutional clients to seamlessly secure, access and leverage cryptocurrencies and digital assets in their portfolios. In support of the partnership, Cowen has made a $25 million strategic investment in PolySign, leading the $53 million initial closing of PolySign’s Series B financing. Also investing in the round were Blockchain.com, Race Capital, Sandia Holdings and PilotRock Investments. The funds will be used to accelerate PolySign’s ongoing development of institutional blockchain applications.
“As digital assets continue to grow and mature as an asset class, institutional investors need trusted custody and trading solutions on par with their requirements for investing in traditional securities. Our partnership with PolySign is another example of how we, at Cowen, position ourselves to better serve our clients by identifying disruptive trends that we believe will impact investment markets for years to come,” said Jeffrey M. Solomon, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Cowen. “Led by a best-in-class team of cryptocurrency and financial services pioneers, PolySign has developed proprietary, next-generation blockchain technology that we believe will be foundational to the development of secure, trusted digital asset infrastructure. We’re very excited to partner with Jack McDonald, Arthur Britto and the PolySign team with a goal of making the market for digital assets accessible to institutional investors.”
“Blockchain technology is the future of financial services, and at PolySign we have made great progress building the global standard for institutional digital asset custody and settlement,” said Jack McDonald, CEO of PolySign. “Cowen’s partnership and investment in PolySign validates the strength of our technology and team, as well as the growing significance of digital assets as an asset class. Institutional momentum in the digital asset space is strong, and with the support of Cowen – both through its capital investment and this cutting-edge partnership – we’re positioned to significantly expand our market-facing abilities by bringing innovative solutions to capital markets.”
Arthur Britto, Founder and President of PolySign who previously co-founded Ripple and co-designed the XRP Ledger, commented, “Cowen is the ideal lead investor and partner for us. The synergies between PolySign and Cowen’s innovative, fast-growing capital markets platform will provide the rocket fuel for PolySign’s next generation technologies for financial markets.”
“PolySign is rapidly becoming the industry leader for vision and execution in building institutional grade custody and settlement infrastructure for digital assets,” said Xen Baynham-Herd, executive at Blockchain.com. “Through investing in and working closely with PolySign, Blockchain.com will offer more mission critical infrastructure products and services to our customers.”
Cowen and PolySign plan to utilize and leverage each other’s expertise as the companies work together to implement a comprehensive digital asset solution for institutional clients. Institutional-grade, regulated custody solutions for a wide array of digital assets will be provided by Standard Custody & Trust Company (“Standard”), a PolySign subsidiary. Standard is one of the few firms to have received a trust company charter from New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”), as a regulated qualified custodian of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
Standard’s security program combines proprietary blockchain technology, end-to-end encryption and distributed trust protocols to protect secret keys. In granting this charter, NYDFS conducted a comprehensive review of Standard’s business, including the company’s front-to-back security, its operational flows as well as its compliance programs, policies and procedures.
Addressing institutional investors’ growing need for secure, compliant access to the multi-trillion dollar crypto and digital asset markets, Cowen and PolySign also intend to pursue opportunities to integrate PolySign’s next-generation digital banking technology into Cowen’s innovative, non-conflicted sales and trading platform.
As part of Cowen’s strategic investment in PolySign, Dan Charney, Co-President of Cowen and Company, and John Holmes, Cowen’s Chief Operating Officer, will join PolySign’s Board. Other terms of the investment or partnership were not disclosed.
Cowen and Company, LLC and SenaHill acted as financial advisors to Cowen. Macquarie Capital acted as financial advisor to PolySign.
About Cowen Inc.
Cowen Inc. (“Cowen” or the “Company”) is a diversified financial services firm offering investment banking services, equity and credit research, sales and trading, prime brokerage, global clearing, commission management services and actively managed alternative investment products. Cowen focuses on delivering value-added capabilities to our clients in order to help them outperform. Founded in 1918, the Company is headquartered in New York and has offices worldwide. Learn more at Cowen.com.
© 2021, COWEN INC., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. COWEN AND COMPANY, LLC: MEMBER FINRA, NYSE AND SIPC
About PolySign Inc.
PolySign is a transformative financial technology company providing institutional investors with cutting-edge blockchain-enabled infrastructure in support of digital assets across the capital markets and payments sectors. PolySign’s New York-regulated custodian, Standard Custody & Trust Company, offers novel blockchain technology that provides end-to-end encryption and distributed trust protocols for securing secret keys, allowing for highly regulated and compliant custody and escrow-related offerings. For more information, please visit polysign.io.
About Standard Custody & Trust Company
Standard Custody & Trust Company is an institutional-grade custody, trading and settlement platform for digital assets. Standard was founded and designed by leading technologists and innovators from pioneering cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology companies blended with traditional capital markets expertise. A subsidiary of PolySign, Inc., Standard’s platform offers novel blockchain technology that provides end-to-end encryption and distributed trust protocols for securing secret keys. Standard’s integrated escrow trading platform enables investors to buy and sell digital assets directly from custody, eliminating the risk of external transfers and inefficient transactions between different providers. Standard embodies high standards for regulatory and compliance excellence, empowering financial institutions to leverage their digital asset positions with confidence in best-in-class security protocols. For more information, please visit standardcustody.com.
Blockchain.com is connecting the world to the future of finance. The company is the most trusted and fastest growing crypto company, helping millions across the globe — from single individuals to the largest institutions — safely access cryptocurrency. Through the use of block chain technology, Blockchain.com is revolutionizing the $14T financial services industry. Blockchain.com has raised $490 million from leading, global investors including: Baillie Gifford, partners of DST Global, Eldridge, GV, Kyle Bass, Lakestar, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Moore Strategic Ventures, Rovida Kruptos Assets Limited, VY Capital, and others.
Dan Gagnier / Jeffrey Mathews
For PolySign / Standard: