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Babel Finance reached unicorn status after raising $80 million in a funding round that valued the crypto financial services provider at $2 billion.
The leading investors were China-focused venture capital fund Jeneration Capital, U.S. crypto investment firm 10T Holdings, and existing shareholders Dragonfly Capital and BAI Capital, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. Circle Ventures and other family offices based in Asia-Pacific also participated in the Series B round, the press release said.
The firm provides financial services for bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and stablecoins, to a "select clientele of about 500 customers," according to the press release.
At the end of 2021, Babel Finance had an outstanding loan balance of over $3 billion, up from $2 billion the previous February. It averaged $800 million in monthly derivatives trading volume and had structured and traded over $20 billion in options products.
Babel will use the funds to fuel its global expansion and continue compliance efforts, Del Wang, co-founder and CEO of the firm, told CoinDesk in an email.
“Babel Finance has opened up a market with high barriers to entry," said 10T CEO and managing partner Dan Tapiero. "[It] has built a laudable reputation as a highly specialized and trusted crypto financial institution."
Asked about how the market downturn affects their operations, Wang said that the fundraising demonstrates investor confidence in the firm. Since institutional investors are mostly long-term investors, "a bear market may present opportunities for them."
The firm started in 2018 as a lender to crypto miners in China. It has since pivoted toward institutional investors in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Read more: Babel Finance Sets Up Shop in Singapore