Crypto lending firm Celsius Network has expanded its $400 million Series B round from October to $750 million as a result of oversubscription in the firm’s capital raise.
The company is now valued at $3.5 billion following the raise and CEO Alex Mashinsky told Cointelegraph he expects that figure to “double or triple” next year which would see it valued between $7B and $10.5B
The firm previously closed the round on Oct. 12 amid a period of intense scrutiny placed on crypto lending firms from local regulators. Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky emphasized at the time that “it’s not $400 million. It’s the credibility that comes with the people who wrote those checks.”
In an announcement shared with Cointelegraph on Nov. 25, Celsius outlined that new funds will go towards expanding into new markets and product offerings, along with building its recently announced centralized finance (CeFi) to decentralized finance (DeFi) bridging project “CelsiusX”.
Celsius will also allocate funds to improving the “utility of its platform” and its commitment to sustainable Bitcoin (BTC) mining.
Speaking on the $750 million funding round with Cointelegraph, Mashinsky said that the fact that the round was oversubscribed shows a “very good indication” of the strength of the Celsius brand, which he said was user focused.
“If you think of what we do, which is pay yield to the community, you know, we paid over $1 billion to our community and we basically get that yield from exchanges and institutions. And most of our competitors […] they charge the customers fees and give all that money to their shareholders,” he said.
Celsisus outlined plans earlier this week to invest an additional $300 million into scaling its BTC mining operations in North America, taking its total spend on the sector to $500 million.
Mashinsky attributed his bullish estimate of Celsius’ value in 2022 to the firm’s ability to provide services in almost every sector of crypto, as he highlighted the growth potential of the business:
“I think that by itself it is worth several times what we invested. So between that and the growth of our core business, you know, the yield business, the lending business or the mining business, the DeFi business, all these things are obviously huge.”
The Celsius CEO also pointed to the $115 million acquisition of crypto custody platform GK8 at the start of this month, and revealed the firm has plans to enter the NFT sector in the near future, although it won’t be launching a marketplace as he feels there are already too many similar platforms out there.
“We think we can help kind of expand the category into other use cases or other ways of, you know, unlocking value for brands,” he said.
Related: Crypto lending firms on the hot seat: New regulations are coming?
Questioned on the firm’s $20 million crowdfunding round from August 2020, in which more than 1000 investors from the Celsius community backed the firm. Mashinsky said the firm was valued at around $150 million at the time, and while investors are currently unable to sell their holdings, it has turned out to be a handsome investment for them:
“Basically those 1000 people made on average, what is it, 25 times of their money or something like that? Obviously, it’s not liquid, they can’t sell it tomorrow. But we think that they are super happy.”
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Author: Brian Quarmby