ICE’s Bakkt Raises $300 Million in Series B Funding
March 18, 2020
The crypto derivative platform Bakkt has raised $300 million from its Series B funding round, with Microsoft and Pantera some of the companies to invest in the company.
Microsoft, Others Invest in Bakkt
Bakkt is a cryptocurrency derivative provider backed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The platform recently concluded its Series B funding round, and it was able to raise $300 million in the process.
According to the company’s blog post, the companies that invested in Bakkt include Microsoft’s M12, Goldfinch Partners, CMT Digital, Boston Consulting Group, ICE, PayU, and Pantera Capital. Bakkt CEO Mike Blandina, who authored the blog post, stated that he was happy with the recent development.
Blandina pointed out that although Bakkt was launched two years ago, the platform has made substantial progress in various facets of its business. He stated that the company had also updated its website and had added the new details about the Bakkt app which is scheduled to launch this summer. Blandina also referenced their acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, a loyalty services provider. Bakkt announced the acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions last month.
In its first year of operations, Bakkt was focused on launching BTC futures and options contracts with the parent company, ICE. In October last year, Bakkt announced that it would be targeting retail investors using a consumer-focused app. It is for this reason that Bakkt is updating its website with new details about the Bakkt app, which will be ready by the summer.
Blandina noted that they have a broad view of digital assets. According to the company, digital assets include things as extensive and diverse as reward and loyalty points, merchant stored value, in-game assets, and cryptocurrencies. All these collectively account for over $1 trillion in consumer spending power. Despite the large size of the market, consumers still struggle to access digital assets, making it hard for them to keep track of the assets, and they also sometimes face challenges in using them.
The Benefits of the Bakkt App
According to Blandina, Bakkt gives users control over their various digital assets. With the Bakkt app, people will be able to aggregate all the assets they own including loyalty points from the grocery store, extra miles on their favorite airline, or the BTC they purchase. Users can aggregate all these assets into a single digital wallet. With just a few taps, people can spend those assets with their favorite merchants, send them to family and friends, or convert them to fiat currencies. Blandina commented that with their app, people will be able to get a better understanding of the value they are holding and that the company will assist in helping their clients to spend, track and send their cryptocurrencies to wherever they want to.
The CEO expressed his excitement at their potential to unlock roughly $1 trillion of digital assets when they launch the Bakkt app in the coming months. The completion of Series B fundraising round and the recent acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions has seen the Bakkt team grow to 350 employees. They currently operate the loyalty redemption programs for 7 of the top 10 financial institutions, while also handling 4,500 loyalty and incentive programs.
Blandina concluded that they have the opportunity to take advantage of the technology, infrastructure, and partners across their businesses to roll out innovative new products to the markets. By doing so, they would be expanding their access to the global economy.