Crypto Lending Firm BlockFi Raises $52.5M USD Led By Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital

Investing, News | July 25, 2018 By:

Crypto lending platform BlockFi has raised $52.5 million in a fundraising round to expand its operation outside of the US.

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital led the round with participation from existing investors like ConsenSys and PJC. As part of the investment, Chris Ferraro, Head of Principal Investments at Galaxy will be joining the BlockFi Board of Directors.

Based in New York, BlockFi is a non-bank lender that offers USD loans to cryptocurrency owners. BlockFi is only accepting loans backed by either bitcoin or ethereum and are holding clients’​ cryptoassets with a registered custodian and issuing loans in USD to their bank accounts. It currently operates in 42 US states.

The company said the latest funding will be used to expand to more US states and other countries. It is also planning to add additional cryptocurrencies and new products, such as fixed-income and debt investments, lines of credit and credit cards. As part of this expansion, BlockFi hired Rene van Kesteren, a former MD at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as Chief Risk Officer.

“The support we’ve seen from existing clients and investors highlights the strong demand for leveraging bitcoin and ether for low-cost USD loans,” said BlockFi CEO Zac Prince. “We look forward to expanding our services to support more cryptocurrencies and geographic markets in the near future.”

Novogratz, CEO and founder of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital, said that a robust lending market is the keystone for financial systems and BlockFi’s institutional approach and deep lending expertise were key drivers in the company’s decision to partner with them.

“We’re excited to partner with BlockFi and jointly lead the way for financial institutions to participate in crypto investing strategies,” said Novogratz. “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.”

Last month, Galaxy Digital invested $20 million into virtual-reality firm High Fidelity, and $15 million in AlphaPoint, a global financial technology company helping institutions make illiquid assets liquid.