Venture

Fireblocks Ignites $30M Round For Blockchain Infrastructure

Fireblocks has raised a $30 million Series B to continue building its crypto backend that already has handled more than $150 billion in digital asset transfers.

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The round was led by Paradigm with participation from existing investors, Cyberstarts, Tenaya Capital, Swisscom, Galaxy Digital, Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Cedar Hill Capital.

“Fireblocks has created the market-leading crypto backend,” said Fred Ehrsam, co-founder and managing partner at Paradigm. “It’s simple and robust. The demand they are seeing—everyone from crypto-native funds to large enterprises—is exciting to watch as crypto goes mainstream.”

Founded in 2018, the New York-based company’s platform provides secure infrastructure for moving, storing and issuing digital assets through its Fireblocks Network. The company has more than 120 enterprise and institutional customers and more than 30 partners in Asia, Europe and North America, including companies such as Revolut and BlockFi.

Growth during the pandemic

The company launched its platform for digital assets and cryptocurrencies in June 2019 and has watched its business accelerate during the COVID-19 pandemic, said co-founder and CEO Michael Shaulov. People are concerned with inflation and are looking to diversify assets during the pandemic, he said. It also helps that more traditional payment and financial service firms such as PayPal and JPMorgan have further legitimized the industry recently, he added.

In the third quarter, Fireblocks saw a 533 percent increase in customer growth. Last month alone, the company’s platform helped with $23 billion in transfers, Shaulov said.

The company actually had a significant amount of its previous Series A still in the bank and was cash flow neutral before the new round closed, Shaulov said. Nevertheless, the company saw the potential for significant growth ahead as it competes with the likes of Palo Alto, California-based BitGo and decided the timing was right for a Series B, he added.

Fireblocks expects to use the new funding for research and development and push growth in places such as Europe and Asia, Shaulov said.

Shaulov previously co-founded cybersecurity company Lacoon Mobile Security, which was acquired by Check Point Software Technologies in 2015. While he does not know what exit awaits Fireblocks, he sees an interesting opportunity ahead.

“This specific market is so new, I hope we can really continue to grow and get to a scale and velocity to stay independent,” he said.

Fireblocks has raised a total of $46 million in funding and has approximately 70 employees, Shaulov said.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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