Barclays Takes Punt on Crypto Firm Copper in Latest Funding Round

The conclusion of Copper’s latest funding round follows months of previous deliberations with the UK’s financial regulator, the FCA

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Dmitry Tokarev, CEO, Copper.co; Source: Blockworks

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key takeaways

  • Despite a declining global appetite for risk-on assets, Copper has managed to draw investment from one of the world’s most recognizable banks
  • Barclays has reportedly invested “millions of dollars” according to a report, though the figure is not expected to be a considerable sum

UK-based multinational banking giant Barclays has reportedly bought into crypto custody firm Copper’s latest raise, concluding long-standing talks with investors in the round which had been delayed since November.

As part of the round, Barclays has invested an undisclosed sum somewhere in the “millions of dollars,” Sky News reported Sunday. It is expected the raise will be finalized in the coming days.

It concludes a more than nine-month delay to its $500 million Series C funding round where Copper had sought a $3 billion valuation. A declining crypto market and waning investor interest have reduced that figure to $2 billion.

Barclays became the first bank in the UK to support crypto, namely bitcoin, back in 2015 by coaxing charities to accept the nascent asset class as a form of donations. The bank has often had a checkered past with the industry including denying its services to powerhouse exchange providers Binance and Coinbase.

Delays stemming from Copper’s bout with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority over the country’s Temporary Registration Regime had muddied investor proceedings, including with recurring investor Tiger Global.

Frustrations over the UK financial watchdog’s rule, which required digital asset service providers to apply for temporary registration in order to continue trading, reached a fever pitch in March when Copper set up a hub in Zug, Switzerland following a partnership with global traditional custodian State Street.

Founded by Dmitry Tokarev in 2018, Copper provides custody, prime broking and settlement services to institutional investors. The firm previously raised $50 million via a Series B funding round in June of last year with an undisclosed valuation.


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