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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.

Go deeper: Coinbase offers crypto industry legitimacy

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
7 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.