Singapore’s GIC invests $70m in crypto exchange OSL parent BC Group

Photo by Andre Francois on Unsplash

Hong Kong-listed BC Technology Group, the parent firm of regulated digital asset platform OSL, said on Friday that it has raised almost HK$543.2 million (about $70 million) from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC through a private placement.

The investment marks another crypto-related deal by GIC, which led an $80-million Series C round in US-based digital asset platform Anchorage in February. GIC also reportedly participated in US crypto exchange Coinbase’s $300-million funding round back in 2018, Bloomberg reported.

In the latest deal, BC Group disclosed that it had agreed to place nearly 32 million shares, which represents an over-7.6% stake in the firm, to GIC at a price of HK$17 ($2.2) apiece, per its filing with the stock exchange on June 11.

If the deal proceeds, BC Group will raise close to HK$543.2 million of gross proceeds. The net proceeds, after deduction of all relevant expenses, are estimated to be about HK$535 million ($68.9 million).

BC Group, which generates the bulk of its revenues from the OSL crypto business, said that it plans to use HK$198 million ($25.5 million) from the net proceeds for IT-related costs including digital transformation, as well as developing and enhancing platform technology of its crypto business. It will also put aside HK$100 million ($12.9 million) for future expansion in markets like Britain, Singapore, and the US.

The remaining HK$237 million ($30.5 million) will be used as operating working capital other than IT-related costs, such as rental, marketing and staff costs, according to the filing.

Fidelity-backed BC Group is engaged in digital assets trading, brokerage, technologies, and services businesses in Hong Kong through OSL, the first firm in the Asian financial hub to have received a digital asset license from the local authority. OSL became licensed by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in December 2020 to operate regulated brokerage and automated trading services (ATS) for digital assets.

OSL said last August that it had also applied for an equivalent licence in Singapore that would allow the firm to act as a Major Payment Institution providing all dealing services associated with digital payment tokens.

Besides the crypto business, BC Group is also involved in the advertising business and the provision of business park area management services in mainland China.

BC Group reported revenues of 217 million yuan ($33.9 million) in 2020, up 32% year-on-year (YoY), according to the firm’s annual financial results.

Its core OSL segment contributed to 70% of BC Group’s income and revenues last year, an increase from 44% in 2019. The results show that the overall trading volumes on OSL’s digital asset platform leaped 228% YoY to 149 billion yuan ($23.3 billion), with its active customers rising 130% from one year earlier.

 

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.