Feb 19, 2021 - Economy

Coinbase valued above $100 billion, ahead of direct listing

Illustration of a golden glowing cryptocurrency with the Coinbase C

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was valued at just over $100 billion in a recent private market share sale ahead of its upcoming public listing, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: Coinbase could go public at a higher initial valuation than any other U.S. tech company since Facebook.

By the numbers: Coinbase generated $141 million of net income on $691 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2020, according to documents shared with investors.

  • The company disclosed a $30 million net loss on $530 million in revenue for full-year 2019.
  • None of these revenue numbers include 2021, during which the price and trading volume of Bitcoin has skyrocketed.

Share sale: Coinbase last month launched a secondary share sale via Nasdaq Private Markets (f.k.a. Second Market), offering up to 1.8 million shares in weekly batches.

  • The goal was to help Coinbase determine a reference price for its public offering, which will be done via direct listing instead of IPO.
  • The initial batch of 75,000 shares was sold on Jan. 29 at $200 per share. That worked out to a valuation of nearly $54 billion, compared to the $8 billion valuation Coinbase received during its prior venture capital round in late 2018.
  • The next two batches were sold at $301 and $303, respectively.
  • The most recent batch of 127,000 shares was sold Friday at $373, which works out to a valuation of $100.23 billion.

Between the lines: It's unclear if the secondary share sale is still useful to Coinbase for the purpose of determining a reference point for direct listing, given the upward surge.

  • Axios also was unable to learn how much longer Coinbase plans to keep it open.

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