Binance.US raised over $200 million in its first external funding round, putting its pre-money valuation at $4.5 billion as it builds out a roadmap for an initial public offering (IPO), its CEO Brian Shroder told TechCrunch.
The company is targeting an IPO in two to three years from April 6, Shroder said. This is the first time Binance.US has taken external investor capital, and no valuation has been shared publicly before, he added.
“I personally feel that there is value in going through the process of going IPO because it requires a lot of regulatory discussions and those are things we welcome and are excited about,” Shroder said.
Its investors include RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck and Circle Ventures. Diversity and inclusion mission-driven firms like Gaingels, an LGBTQIA+/Allies investment syndicate, and Gold House, a nonprofit focused on enabling more multicultural representation and societal equity, also joined the round.
The crypto-focused firm launched in 2019 as a separate legal entity from the well known Binance.com, which is one of largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
Binance.US is one of the largest digital asset exchanges by trading volume in the U.S. with a 24-hour trading volume of $306 million, according to data on CoinMarketCap. Other competitors like FTX US and Coinbase had 24-hour trading volumes of $197 million and $3 billion, respectively.
Its highest fee per transaction is 0.1% and becomes lower the more volume someone trades, Shroder said. For reference, it’s one-sixth of Coinbase Pro’s fee, 0.6%, for trades under $10,000.
Shroder claims Binance.US is not a subsidiary or affiliate, but it is tied to Binance.com through its common founder, Changpeng Zhao, who is also a chairman at Binance.US, and through its legal and licensing agreements with Binance.com. “We have licenses for the core technology around the matchbox engine and then licenses for the name rights in the United States.”
The exchange provides licensed services to 45 states with plans to operate in all 50 states and all U.S. territories, Shroder said. New York, Texas, Vermont, Idaho and Hawaii are the states not listed.
Shroder said the capital will be used for one key word: Growth.
“Every dollar raised will be plowed back into the business in a variety of ways,” he said. “Today, we are a fairly simple business, a spot trading platform, but we want to be so much more. If you look at our bigger brother Binance.com, you’ll see a plethora of products and services they offer.”
There are also “two different industries” Binance.US is looking at potentially moving into, but Shroder declined to disclose additional details.
“A huge percentage of the ecosystem we haven’t even started to dip our toes in,” Shroder said. “So I think that’s the exciting part for us is expanding beyond [being] a one product company into a professional organization with multiple products and services, serving millions of users on a very clear pathway to IPO.”