Crypto Fintech & e-commerce M&A

Why US Crypto Firm Ripple’s $250M Acquisition Of This Swiss Company Matters

Illustration of cryptocurrency peeling off of smartphone

Finally we get to report some crypto startup news that doesn’t have anything to do with FTX — at least not directly.

In its first acquisition, San Francisco-based Ripple has acquired Switzerland-based Metaco for $250 million — half in cash and half in equity, according to Ripple.

So what does each of these companies do and why does this acquisition make sense? Let’s take this nice and slow.

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Privately owned Ripple is the world’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency exchange. 

Metaco makes technology allowing financial institutions to store and manage digital assets. This is a big deal, especially after several major firms (FTX) collapsed, leaving investors facing big losses.

Why Metaco matters

The fact that Metaco is based outside the United States where crypto regulation is much clearer is a bonus for Ripple as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wrestles to figure out the future of crypto regulation.

The Swiss company is also a legit player in its own right with clients including Citi, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale‘s digital asset arm.

Metaco has raised a total of $20 million in funding over four rounds. Its latest funding was raised on July 14, 2020, from a Series A round. Metaco is funded by 11 investors. Verve Ventures and Standard Chartered Bank are the most recent backers, according to Crunchbase data.

Investor enthusiasm in crypto waned after a drop in cryptocurrency prices in 2022. A slew of major crypto firm failures didn’t help. Yes, we are talking (again) about FTX.

In a statement on its website, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said, “Through the strength of our balance sheet and financial position, Ripple will continue pressing our advantage in the areas critical to crypto infrastructure. Bringing on Metaco is monumental for our growing product suite and expanding global footprint.”

Ripple is no slouch either.

It  has raised a total of $293.8 million in funding over 14 rounds. Its latest funding was raised on Aug. 21, 2021, from a  Series B round. Ripple is funded by 43 investors. Uday Kumar Bangalore Shivaraman and Azure Ventures Group are the most recent investors, according to Crunchbase data.

While crypto prices are on the rise, the dramatic collapse of FTX still hangs over the entire sector with several other lenders and exchanges.

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Illustration: Dom Guzman

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