21Shares’ Parent Company Valued at $2B After Marshall Wace-led Fundraise

21.co seeks to bolster product suite and global reach as it seeks to expand to a dozen more regions

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21Shares co-founders Hany Rashwan and Ophelia Snyder | Source: 21Shares

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key takeaways

  • London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace has previously invested in Circle, ConsenSys, Lukka and TRM Labs
  • “We want all of our products in every single geography,” 21.co CEO said

Investors have valued the parent company of the world’s largest issuer of crypto ETPs at $2 billion during its latest fundraise, as the firm seeks to grow its product suite and expand to a dozen or so more regions.

21.co, the Switzerland-based parent company of crypto ETP issuer 21Shares, token provider Amun and issuance platform Onyx, raised $25 million, the firm said.

“We build bridges to make it possible for people to connect TradFi and crypto,” 21.co co-founder Ophelia Snyder told Blockworks. “That’s all we do, and we do it in a few different ways.”

Marshall Wace is cutting the largest check, as the London-based hedge fund continues its investments in crypto-focused companies. The company, founded in 1997, manages $55 billion in assets. 

Other investors in the round include Collab+Currency, Quiet Capital, ETFS Capital and Valor Equity Partners.

Amit Rajpal, Marshall Wace’s CEO of Asia, called 21.co “a first-mover in the crypto industry” in a statement, noting that the company “has the potential to revolutionize the industry globally.” 

The company declined to comment further for this story.  

Marshall Wace led the $110 million Series E round for crypto asset software and data provider Lukka in January. The investment came a month after the hedge fund participated in a $60 million Series B round for TRM Labs

More recently, Marshall Wace participated in the funding rounds for ConsenSys and Circle in March and April, respectively. 

“They have a very large network in the financial services industry,” 21.co CEO Hany Rashwan told Blockworks. “We’re working with them…to expand our footprint and do partnerships.” 

Growth plans

From September 2021 to September 2022, 21.co recorded roughly $650 million in net new assets and grew its headcount 75% during that span.

The latest fundraise is the company’s first in more than two years. 

“The real impressive stat is we’ve gotten to this $2 billion valuation off of just raising $10 million, and that’s, I would argue, a pretty good use of capital,” Rashwan said. “It’s important for our customers to realize how large a company they’re entrusting their funds with and to have that clarity.”

In addition to sending a message to 21.co customers, the raise will allow the company to accelerate its growth in more parts of the world and be well-positioned to execute potential acquisitions, executives said. 

21Shares launched the first bitcoin and ether ETFs in Australia in May and seeks to bring similar offerings to the Middle East in about a month, Rashwan said. The company is also seeking to expand into about a dozen more regions, he added, declining to share specific areas.  

“We obviously have a very global footprint and we’re not done,” the CEO said.

21Shares launched its Bitcoin Core ETP (CBTC) on the SIX Swiss Exchange in June as the first offering in a so-called crypto winter suite. It added to the lineup the following month with risk-controlled bitcoin and ether ETPs that seek to replicate benchmarks by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“You should expect to see more single-assets, more indexes, more partnerships and more strategies overall,” Rashwan said. “We want all of our products in every single geography. We’re working on that.”

In the US, 21Shares has re-submitted an application for the proposed spot bitcoin ETF it first proposed with Ark Invest in June 2021. The SEC, which has yet to approve such a fund, rejected the offering earlier this year. 

Cathie Wood, Ark Invest’s CEO and chief investment officer, previously invested in 21.co and is an independent board member of the company. 

“When I first met the team at 21.co, I understood their long-term vision and truly believed the company would transform the crypto ecosystem,” she said in a statement. “This round is a testament to 21.co’s early success and its ability to thrive in both bull and bear markets.”


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