Billionaire Steve Cohen Ditches Crypto Startup Radkl

New York-based Radkl has already lost two managing directors this year

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Point72’s Steve Cohen | Source: Point72

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key takeaways

  • Cohen backed Radkl in a personal capacity, not via Point72
  • The proprietary crypto trading firm launched in September last year by partners at GTS

Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is no longer an investor in crypto startup Radkl, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Cohen reportedly provided financial backing to Radkl in a personal capacity, not through his hedge fund and the size of his investment is not known. A source familiar with the matter confirmed his exit.

The chairman and CEO of Point72 Asset Management made plans to enter the crypto market in 2021 at a time when high-profile investors and institutions were warming up to digital assets. 

The barely year-old proprietary crypto trading firm, launched by partners at Wall Street market maker GTS, is said to deploy sophisticated, high-speed, computerized trading models to invest in cryptoassets. 

Pronounced “radical,” the startup has lost at least two managing directors already this year, including Jim Greco and Beatrice O’Carroll, their LinkedIn profiles show. O’Carroll was still listed on Radkl’s website, however, alongside four others. The team page has since been deleted. LinkedIn shows the startup has 18 employees.

Radkl told Bloomberg it remains “extremely well capitalized” with its current investors. However, data on Crunchbase shows Cohen was its only investor.

The billionaire’s hedge fund had made several crypto-related bets including crypto analytics firm Messari, infrastructure platform Zero Hash and around-the-clock trading platform 24Exchange.

He has decades of experience on Wall Street and founded two hedge funds. Of those, SAC Capital was ordered to shut down after it plead guilty to engaging in insider trading. Cohen told Stray Reflections in an interview last year that he was “fully converted” to crypto.

Blockworks learned last month that Point72 was looking to hire a couple of senior blockchain-focused professionals, including a head of crypto technology and head of digital asset operations.

A spokesperson for Cohen declined to comment, while Radkl didn’t return Blockworks’ request for comment by press time.

This article was updated on August 3 at 3:15 am ET.


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