Coinbase may invest in Thailand's Zipmex after takeover talks fall through

Photo by Andre Francois on Unsplash

Coinbase Global Inc has reportedly signed an agreement to invest in Thai crypto trading platform Zipmex, after takeover talks did not come through, per a report on The Block.

The report cited sources saying the US-based crypto exchange had intended to acquire Zipmex, but finally ended up with a strategic investment, for which a term sheet was signed in March.

Meanwhile, The Block said Zipmex was seeking to raise around $40 million at a $400-million valuation, and Babel Finance could be the lead investor.

A spokesperson at Zipmex said the company “does not comment on market speculation”. The spokesperson confirmed that the company was in talks with investors for a new funding round, but has not finalised its lead investor as well as valuation.

Earlier in March, DealStreetAsia’s DATA VANTAGE showed that Zipmex welcomed Black Bull Capital Partners and Vision Invest as new shareholders. The two entities acquired shares in Zipmex through secondary transactions, providing an exit to two shareholders.

A few days later, Zipmex also received $1.2 million in new capital, bringing the total funding in the company to more than $60 million. This includes a $41-million Series B round in August last year, in which Zipmex raised the capital from Krungsri Finnovate Company Limited, the corporate venture capital arm of Thailand-based Bank of Ayudhya PCL, Plan B Media Public Company Limited, US-based Jump Capital, MindWorks Capital and Master Ad Public Company Limited.

Jump Capital had led a $6-million investment in the Thai-originated, Singapore-headquartered business in January 2021.

Zipmex founder and CEO Marcus Lim recently said the company planned to make a foray into Vietnam, a market with the highest adoption of cryptocurrencies. The company already operates in Thailand, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore.

By the end of last year, Zipmex had scored an 8x increase in digital assets on its platform and $6 billion in cumulative trading volume. The company currently has around 2 million users.

In addition to investment, it offers savings and payment services. The company also has its own token, ZMT.

Zipmex has received the brokerage licence from Thailand’s Ministry of Finance and is regulated by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission.

Meanwhile, Coinbase, through its venture arm, has backed several crypto exchanges in Asia, such as CoinDCX in India, Amber Group in Singapore, Pintu in Indonesia and Agara, an AI-powered support platform with operations in India and the US.

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