In its first-ever outside financing effort, Gemini, a cryptocurrency platform, announced a $400 million growth equity round, which values the company at about $7.1 billion.
Launched in 2015 by blockchain pioneers and early Bitcoin advocates, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini is now a leading crypto platforms in the world. In addition to buying, selling and storing crypto, investors use the platform to earn, spend and learn about crypto, as well as create and collect non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) on Nifty Gateway, a wholly owned NFT platform.
Metaverse experts see this investment as a boost for the rapidly growing momentum to build the metaverse. However, Gemini and the Winkelvoss vision as a competing path to the metaverse, especially compared to more centralized plans, such as Facebook’s “Meta” initiative, Cameron Winklevoss told Forbes.
“There’s these two parallel paths, in terms of technology right now,” said Cameron, who is co-founder and serves as president of Gemini. “There’s a centralized path, like Facebook or Fortnite, that is one step away from being a metaverse, and that’s totally fine. But there is another path, which is the decentralized metaverse and that’s the metaverse where we believe there’s greater choice, independence and opportunity, and there is technology that protects the rights and dignity of individuals.”
Tyler Winklevoss, co-founder and CEO of Gemini, hints in a statement that the financing round is just the start for the company.
“Gemini is the portal into crypto for new and seasoned investors alike,” said Tyler. “The investors that we have brought on in this round share our ambitious vision for the future.”
Forbes also reports that the Winklevoss brothers will retain 75% ownership in the company after the investment. Their combined net wealth will nearly double from $6 billion in the spring to $10 billion now, Forbes notes.
According to the statement, Gemini earns trust from individuals and institutions with its security-first, regulated platform. This new financing will allow Gemini will to bring “simple, innovative, and secure products to market, and advance its geographic expansion,” the release adds.
“We are leading the first outside investment in Gemini because of our shared conviction in crypto and belief in the company that Cameron and Tyler are building,” said Sachin Jaitly, General Partner of Morgan Creek Digital. “Their vision for the role of crypto in redesigning money, the financial system, art, and the Internet, and their track record of incubating and scaling innovative technologies, gives us confidence in Gemini’s ability to continue to be an industry leader.”
While the financing round is earning a lot of headlines, 2021 has been a busy one for the company, which lists the following accomplishments for the year:
- Acquired Blockrize to help launch the Gemini Credit Card, which offers real-time crypto rewards and has a waitlist of more than 360,000 people
- Acquired ShardX, a developer of secure multi-party computation (MPC) technology, to enhance its crypto listing and custodial services
- Launched Gemini Earn that allows users to lend their crypto and earn up to 8.05% APY. To date, Gemini Earn has originated $4 billion in crypto loans.
- Supports more than 60 cryptos for trading and custody
- Custodies more than $30B in crypto assets
- Launched Gemini Fund Solutions to provide fund managers with custody, clearing, and trading support for crypto ETFs, closed-end funds, and other fund vehicles
- Launched Cryptopedia, an open access educational resource for all things crypto
Gemini also reports record growth of its NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway this year.
“Since launch, Nifty Gateway has achieved more than $420 million in sales through 375 unique artist collaborations, cementing its position as a standout leader in the NFT digital art and collectibles space,” the company reports.
Cameron said Gemini used a number of strategies to fuel the company’s growth this year.
“In 2021 we diversified our revenue stream, expanded to new territories, acquired pioneering companies, and invested in industry-redefining innovations through the Gemini Frontier Fund. We also supported Bitcoin core development through the Gemini Opportunity Fund,” said Cameron. “We are incredibly excited to continue to build on the frontier of crypto and give individuals around the world greater choice, independence and opportunity through crypto.”