Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) platform which will facilitate trading digital assets, has announced it has completed its first round of capital fundraising. In total, they raised $182.5 million from 12 groups.
The groups included Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures.
The announcement came from Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler on Medium. In it, she noted the company has already started its work in driving institutional access for companies as notable as Starbucks. She notes that in 2019, Bakkt is “focused on opportunities to provide new infrastructure, including the industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage.”
Recently, Bakkt pushed back their planned launch of a future product for digital assets. They originally had planned to launch a Bitcoin Core (BTC) futures trading option on December 12, but have moved that date back to January 24. Referencing this plan, Loeffler’s new post notes that they are continuing to work with new partners while they wait for U.S. Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) approval for their futures product.
There are some pretty big names in the investors of Bakkt, and Loeffler credits that to the experience of the people involved with the project. She wrote, “we have worked to build new markets and products many times before. Those of us building Bakkt have earned our stripes by helping advance markets in once-nascent asset classes, from energy to credit derivatives and, now, bitcoin.”
Cunningly, the Bakkt CEO knows that the conversation around investment can’t center on the current state of the crypto market. She notes the huge increases in investment in blockchain in 2018, and how they may have been overshadowed by “the more narrow focus on bitcoin’s price, which has been seen by some, as a proxy for the potential of the technology.”
To be sure, Bakkt wants you to know they are ready for anything. Loeffler closes with, “At Bakkt, we’re focused on the work required, both near- and long-term, to evolve the applications for digital assets.”
With $182.5 million, and the trust of giant investor funds, Bakkt looks like they’ll have some room to grow in 2019.
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