More and more mainstream venture capital firms are jumping on the crypto bandwagon as investors increasingly view Bitcoin as an investable asset, despite the recent massive price drops of some major cryptocurrencies. Amber Group, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency trading startup, announced Monday that it had raised $ 100 million in a Series B funding round at a pre-valuation of $ 1 billion.
The latest valuation is ten times higher than the company’s Series A, which closed in 2019, a $ 28 million round that saw Coinbase Ventures among its investors. It is also noteworthy that Amber’s Series B funding was funded by a list of high profile finance and VC firms including China Renaissance, which led the round, and Tiger Brokers, Tiger Global Management, Arena Holdings, Tru Arrow Partners, Sky9 Capital , DCM Ventures, and Gobi Partners.
The previous investors Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures and Blockchain.com also took part in the round.
In May, Babel Finance, another Hong Kong-based crypto asset manager, secured $ 40 million in funding from a number of well-known institutional investors, including Amber’s investor Tiger Global.
Founded by a group of former investment bankers in their twenties, Amber initially set out to apply machine learning algorithms to quantitative trading, but switched to crypto in 2017 when the team noticed an increase in the volume of virtual currency trading. The startup is now serving Both institutional and private investors who offer them, among other things, algorithmic trading, electronic market-making, high-frequency trading, OTC trading, borrowing and lending as well as derivatives.
The company launched its mobile app in the third quarter of 2020 and expanded its scope from institutional customers to private customers. It is said that the trading app has accumulated over 100,000 registered users so far.
According to its co-founder and CEO Michael Wu, Amber has been profitable since its inception with annual sales of $ 500 million based on the numbers from January through April 2021.
The startup had “record months in terms of both customer flow and market-making volume on the exchange,” said Wu, and it now accounts for “2 to 3% of total trading volume on the major spot and market Derivatives Markets ”. The cumulative trading volume has doubled from $ 250 billion since the beginning of the year to over $ 500 billion. In total, it manages around $ 1.5 billion in trading capital, which varies depending on BTC and ETH prices.
Amber employs over 330 people worldwide in Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Vancouver. The proceeds from Series B will be used for global expansion.