Coinbase valuation pegged at $68b ahead of landmark US listing

Photo by Andre Francois on Unsplash

Coinbase Global Inc, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, said on Wednesday recent private market transactions had valued the company at around $68 billion this year ahead of a planned stock market listing.

The eye-popping valuation underscores how the perceived value of Coinbase has rallied in lock-step with the surge in the price of cryptocurrency bitcoin.

In a regulatory filing, Coinbase said its stock in the private market traded at a weighted average price of $343.58 in the first quarter of 2021 through March 15. In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Coinbase’s stock traded at an average of $28.83 per share for a valuation of $5.3 billion.

That represents a nearly 13-fold jump in its valuation in the space of a few months. According to data platform PitchBook, Coinbase was valued at a shade over $8 billion during its last private fundraise in October 2018.

Coinbase’s implied valuation eclipses that of New York Stock Exchange parent Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE), Nasdaq Inc and the London Stock Exchange, and puts it $4 billion short of futures exchange operator CME Group.

Coinbase’s latest valuation is almost 53 times its revenue in 2020. By comparison, ICE currently trades at a 10.67 price-to-sales ratio, according to Refinitiv data.

The latest filing from Coinbase also signals heightened confidence that the listing will be approved by regulators.

A successful listing by Coinbase, whose business is primarily focused on digital currencies, would represent a landmark victory for cryptocurrency advocates vying for endorsement for a sector that has struggled to win the trust of mainstream investors, regulators and the general public.

It could also be seen as a tacit regulatory approval of assets traded on Coinbase’s platform. The company has more than 43 million users in more than 100 countries.

Coinbase did not indicate in the latest filing if it had received approval from regulators that would allow it to trade cryptocurrencies that have been classified as securities in the United States.

CRYPTO HIGHS

San Francisco-based Coinbase’s potential listing also comes as the value of bitcoin continues to surge; it hit a record high of $61,781.83 on Saturday. The price of the digital currency has fallen since then as investors consolidated gains and on news of plans by India to ban cryptocurrencies.

A regulatory filing last month, which provided the first detailed look at Coinbase’s finances since it was founded in 2012, showed it swung to a profit last year as bitcoin surged.

Coinbase, among the most well-known cryptocurrency platforms globally, has registered about 114.9 million shares for its listing, according to its filing.

The low and high sale price per share in the private market was $200.00 and $375.01, respectively, in the quarter through March 15.

In December, Coinbase confidentially submitted paperwork with the U.S. regulator to go public through a direct listing. This means it is not selling any shares ahead of its market debut.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.