Crypto Lender Celsius Closes $400M Funding Round
The latest funding comes a month after Celsius ran into trouble with several U.S. state regulators.
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Celsius Network joins a long list of crypto firms to announce a mega-raise this year.
Lending Firm Celsius Hits $3B Valuation
Celsius has closed a $400 million investment round, the crypto lending firm announced in a Tuesday press release. The round was co-led by WestCap and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and puts the firm’s valuation at $3 billion.
The firm said it plans to deploy the newly raised capital toward expanding product offerings, launching new institutional-grade products, and doubling its employee count.
Celsius is one of crypto’s largest centralized lending firms, alongside BlockFi. According to its records, since launching in 2017, Celsius has processed $25 billion in total assets and paid out $850 million in interest via its flagship product, Earn.
Discussing the investment, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky said the project would be aiming to grow its operations in traditional capital markets. He added:
“The partnership with WestCap and CDPQ puts Celsius in a position to grow and further its mission to leverage blockchain technology to connect and decentralize traditional finance.”
Users who deposit their cryptocurrencies on Celsius earn more than 8.8% APY on stablecoins like USDT and 3.51% on Bitcoin. With the DeFi boom that began in 2020, the firm has faced stiff competition from decentralized lending platforms like Aave and Compound.
It has had its fair share of regulatory issues too. In September, regulators in Texas, New Jersey, and Alabama blocked lending accounts offered by Celsius, alleging that the firm was offering unregistered securities. Coinbase suffered a similar fate last month when the SEC threatened to sue the exchange over its own Lend product.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Celsius has previously taken a $1 billion loan from its investor Tether Holdings, the controversial issuer of USDT.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, this author did not own any crypto token mentioned in the article.