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21Shares' parent gets a $2 billion valuation

Lucinda Shen
Sep 6, 2022
Illustration of Benjamin Franklin peering out from behind a pile of crypto coins.
Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

The company behind 21Shares, the crypto ETF and ETP provider, has raised $25 million at a $2 billion valuation, it revealed Tuesday.

Why it matters: U.K.-based hedge fund giant Marshall Wace led the round in the company, 21.co, signaling that traditional investors are still entering the space despite the downmarket.

Background: With over $55 billion in assets under management as of last year, Marshall Wace began moving into the crypto space in the summer of 2021.

  • That’s led to investments in Blockdaemon, Circle, ConsenSys and TRM Labs.
  • Notably, Marshall Wace made very few private market investments before 2021, according to Pitchbook data.

Details: Founded in 2018, 21Shares has reached a peak AUM of $3 billion in November, largely by selling to European investors.

  • It is also trying to breach the U.S. market with a spot market bitcoin ETF in partnership with Cathie Wood’s Ark. But that effort remains in limbo with the SEC.
  • “Part of this is setting a valuation mark for our customers, for our team, for the industry,” co-founder Ophelia Snyder said. “It's important that [our customers] understand the size and stability of their counterparties."
  • "If you think about this in terms of partnerships and recruiting — it plays an important part in business strategy," she said, adding that the company is profitable.

The big picture: 21.co also announced it has put 21Shares and sister company Amun (which focuses on token issuance) under one umbrella.

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