In an interview with Bloomberg TV on 30 Oct 2018, Coinbase COO, Asiff Hirji clarified that Coinbase won’t issue an Initial Public Offering (IPO) “anytime soon”. The clarification comes at a time when there have been rumours of an IPO to be issued soon. Speaking at the interview, Hirji was categorical that:
“There’s not gonna to be an IPO anytime, anytime soon. I think we.. have so much to do. At some point, yes we… will go public, but that is not even close to the top of things that we have right now.”
Previously, on Thursday, Oct. 25, Ran Neuner, host of the Crypto Trader show on CNBC Africa, tweeted that Coinbase was about to announce its first IPO. Neuner further stated that the IPO was to be revealed on Friday, Oct. 26, live on the CNBC Crypto Trader show. That did not happen.
CNBC Cryptotrader exposes details of the Coinbase IPO raise tomorrow on a Cryptotrader exclusive. pic.twitter.com/YG4UOP3ju8
— Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) October 25, 2018
IPO Rumours Not New
These rumours of an IPO are not new. At a TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018, Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, hinted at a possibility of an IPO for the San Francisco-based startup. Reportedly, he said:
“You know, we’ve been profitable for quite a while. We don’t have any plans to raise additional capital at this point, but never say never … Someday I’d love to run a public company.”
Clearly, Armstrong doesn’t conceal his ambitions to run a public company. He claims that Coinbase enjoys significant profit, but he doesn’t dismiss the prospect of raising additional capital. Strangely enough, Armstrong even stated that he would like to go public on his own Blockchain-powered platform.
Previously, On 14 Dec 2017, Hirji gave his first hint on the possibility of an IPO. When he was asked on the prospects of the company going public, he said
“It is certainly in the interest of our investors…and the most obvious path of Coinbase is to go public at some point, but there’s a lot for us to do between now and then, whenever that date is.”
Signs of an Imminent IPO?
On Oct 2, 2018, Recode, a US technology news site reported that Coinbase was about to complete a deal that would value the company at $8 billion. Specifically, Coinbase was holding talks with Tiger Global and its existing shareholders for an investment of up to $500 million. The deal would propel Coinbase to the highest-valued startup in the U.S. Moreover, it would legitimize the entire cryptocurrency industry. The cash raise ignited rumours of Coinbase’s strive to go public.
Although Coinbase has refuted the idea of an IPO “anytime soon” its manoeuvres in the institutional arena seem to suggest that the company is getting serious about participating in Wall Street. Notably, its prime acquisition of Keystone Capital gave it a share of brokerage pie. Speaking after declaring the intent to buy Keystone Capital, Hirji said:
“If approved, Coinbase will soon be capable of offering blockchain-based securities, under the oversight of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA),”
Coinbase is prepared to post over $1.3 billion in revenues this year. In his Twitter post, Neuner provides an overview of Coinbase’s revenues and the number of its users. From the outlook, it has 25 million accounts out of which 600,000 of them are actively trading. Moreover, in the third quarter, Coinbase made $90 million in revenue with projections of earning $450 million in the final quarter of this year. Statistics also reveal that 80% of its revenues are from consumers, 15% are from institutions and the remaining 5% is ‘unknown’.
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