Celsius Network crypto lender raises $ 400 million

The Celsius Network cryptocurrency lending platform has raised $ 400 million in a new round of equity funding amid U.S. regulators increasingly cracking down on crypto lending.

In announcing the news on Tuesday, Celsius noted that the latest funding was led by Canada’s second-largest pension fund, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), and WestCap, an investment firm created by the former Airbnb executive Laurence Tosi.

The company for to use the proceeds of this investment to continue to expand its offering and products, focusing on institutional quality products. Celsius also plans to double its team from 486 employees to nearly 1,000 and expand globally through strategic acquisitions.

Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky expressed hope that the new fundraiser would help the industry reassure regulators about the stability of its crypto lending business and expand it into traditional financial markets. “It’s not $ 400 million. It is the credibility that accompanies the people who wrote these checks, ”he said. noted in an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday.

“With over $ 25 billion in assets and over $ 850 million in returns paid out to over 1.1 million users, Celsius has distributed 10 times the return to the crypto community than any other lender,” Mashinsky told Cointelegraph.

The new round de table values ​​Celsius at over $ 3 billion, marking a massive increase from a round of funding of $ 10 million last year, which took the post-currency valuation of Celsius to 150 million. dollars. Blockchain fund Alpha Sigma Capital previously assessed the valuation of Celsius in March, calculating that the company had an implied value of $ 3.13 billion, three times its market cap at the time.

Founded in 2017 in London, Celsius Network is a leading crypto lending platform, allowing users to earn interest on holding digital assets like Bitcoin (BTC). The company has emerged as one of the biggest players in decentralized finance, reporting digital assets of more than $ 20 billion at the end of August.

Originally operating in the UK, Celsius officially announcement in June that the company will move its headquarters from the UK to the US and “where appropriate, to several other jurisdictions”.

Related: Coinbase Drops Crypto Lending Program Plan Following SEC Notice

The cryptocurrency lender subsequently faced multiple warnings from several U.S. regulators, with the Texas State Securities Board and the New Jersey Bureau of Securities arguing in September that Celcius allegedly violated local securities laws. Other US states, including Kentucky and Alabama, reportedly Posted similar warnings as well, while Celsius said it provides services in full compliance with US laws.

Celsius’ issues with U.S. regulators come amid a broader crackdown on crypto lending in the country. In July, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities issued a cease and desist order to major cryptocurrency lender BlockFi, sparking a wave of similar orders in several other states. Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the United States, had to abandon its Lend crypto loan product after the Securities and Exchange Commission threatened the company with legal action.