Crypto-lending firm BlockFi raised $52.5 million in a fundraising round led by Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Business Insider reported Tuesday.
BlockFi, which aims to lend individuals and companies loans using bitcoin and ether holdings as collateral, plans to use the funds to grow the business outside of the U.S., as well as add support for more digital assets to the platform.
The startup works offers services in 35 U.S. states and functions similarly to a traditional bank: it holds clients’ funds with a registered custodian and reports loan performance information to the major credit bureaus.
The company is now looking to expand to more states and other countries, as well as add additional cryptocurrencies and new products. These products could include fixed-income and debt investments, lines of credit and credit cards, BlockFi vice president Zac Prince told Business Insider.
As part of this expansion, the company has hired former Bank of America managing director Rene van Kesteren, though it is unclear what Van Kesteren’s specific role will be at this time.
The funding round follows BlockFi’s previous $1.55 million raise from ConsenSys Ventures, SoFi and Kenetic Capital. ConsenSys managing partner Kavita Gupta previously told CoinDesk that she believed that BlockFi’s work can reduce volatility on the cryptocurrency market.
“This market needs access to debt beyond fragmented, short term margin trading options in order to reduce volatility, facilitate scale and put the financial infrastructure for this ecosystem on par with other asset classes,” Gupta said.
Mike Novogratz, an outspoken cryptocurrency advocate and investor, raised $250 million earlier this year for Galaxy Digital which is designed to to trade and manage cryptocurrency assets and consult blockchain startups.
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