Ledger Raises $100M at $1B Valuation to Fund Expansion Plans
Reports suggest that Ledger, the manufacturer of hardware crypto wallets, is close to securing at least another $100 million in funding. The new development is expected to give the company a higher valuation than its current $1.5 billion, attained after its last round of funding. It also sees the company tap into the increased venture funding in the crypto market despite the bear market.
Previous Funding Round Raised Ledger’s Valuation to $1.5 Billion
Since its inception in 2014, Ledger has continued to update its technology and now covers prominent tokens across the board. The company, which has sold over three million hardware wallets, is currently planning expansion activities amidst the general slump in the cryptocurrency market. However, its hardware wallets are estimated to hold 20% of digital assets globally, enabling investors to store their private keys themselves.
In June, Ledger completed a $380 million series C funding round, the third highest in the history of blockchain and cryptocurrency. This ensured the company joined the exclusive rank of crypto unicorns with a valuation of over $1.5 billion. The funding round was led by 10T Holdings, with Cathay Innovation, Draper Esprit, Draper Associates, and Draper Dragon, amongst others joining in.
The money raised in June was intended to give Ledger users access to hundreds of new decentralized products and applications through a new service platform. These include cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFT), and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols. The company’s CEO, Pascal Gauthier, revealed the money would ensure usability alongside the firm’s security-first approach. He said,
“What we stand for at Ledger is security first and foremost but also usability. This is a way of saying that whatever you do with your crypto should be in a secure environment. Ledger is providing you with this experience where you can hold your bitcoin, or you can trade your bitcoin always with some level of security.”
True to its promise, Ledger embarked on several innovative endeavors since its last funding round. Last week saw the launch of its NFT marketplace called LEDGER Market, or L Market for short. The platform is expected to feature NFT collections from major fashion and luxury brands, charities, artists, and financial institutions.
Alongside its marketplace, the company also launched its first set of Genesis Pass NFTs on OpenSea. This collection would allow its owners to redeem a limited edition Ledger Black-on-Black Nano X, access certain airdrops, and buy new Ledger hardware. The 10,000 Genesis passes sold out on the first day of its launch. It also topped OpenSea’s rankings for most trading volume with 1,637ETH despite the NFT market falling to a 12-month low.
Previously, in March 2017 and January 2018, respectively, Ledger raised $8.3 million and $75 million in Series A and Series B rounds. Meanwhile, its latest funding round would ensure its valuation exceeds the $1.5 billion mark.
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Collapse of Crypto Exchanges to Increase Demand For Hardware Wallets
The current bear market has threatened several exchanges, with FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried warning that several of them were heading to insolvency. With the recent job cuts from top crypto exchanges like Gemini and Crypto.com, investors fear for their assets held on these exchanges.
Consequently, investors are turning to hardware wallets to have full control of their wallets rather than leave it to a third party. This has caused more demand for Ledger hardware wallets, hence the need to raise more funds to expand its business further.
As a result, the hardware wallet company would be hoping to gain more investors for its platform. This would further cement its status as a mainstream crypto company.
Do you think the current market winter would see more investors favor hardware wallets over exchanges? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.