Celsius Looking to Raise $15 Million from BnkToTheFuture Community, Not VCs
Under normal circumstances, a FinTech startup looking to grow would solicit various venture capital (VC) firms in the hope of finding investors. This is something we’ve seen a lot of lately, such as the crypto trading platform FalconX recently raising $17 million. However, just as cryptocurrencies boast a decentralized financial network, some startups are finding ways to go around this money-raising model. Case in point: Celsius has launched a new funding round that will not include VCs but, instead, investors on the site BnkToTheFuture.
BnkToTheFuture is an online investment platform, allowing users to purchase equity in financial technology and crypto companies. So far the site has allowed 85,000 qualified investors to put nearly $850 million into FinTech funding rounds. Other crypto startups who have raised money via BnkToTheFuture include Kraken, BitFinex, and BitStamp.
Thanks to their partnership with BnkToTheFuture, qualified investors are now able to invest as little as $1,000 in Celsius. In their pitch to potential investors, Celsius notes that its platform has issued more than $6.2 billion in loans. Moreover the company has $630 million in assets and more than 106,000 currently active wallets. At press time, with 45 days remaining, the campaign has already raised $10.6 million of its $15 million goal, which puts it above its minimum goal of $10.5 million.
In a press release about the funding round, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky discussed the decision to raise money directly from cryptocurrency enthusiasts, saying “The crypto community is at the core of what we do. Every decision we make as a company, big and small, must go through a very simple checklist: does it benefit the community.” With that, he added, “After allowing thousands to participate in our ICO, we are proud to partner with BnkToTheFuture to enable our community to be the first to participate in our equity fundraising.” It seems that sentiment was mutual as BnkToTheFuture CEO Simon Dixon stated, “We could not wait to work with Celsius. Cryptocurrency created a new financial system for us all, BnkToTheFuture was the first Securities business in the world to support Cryptocurrency companies and Celsius is now redefining the Cryptocurrency lending and borrowing market. It’s a match made in heaven.” Dixon concluded, “We look forward to becoming a strategic investor in Celsius to build the next generation of financial products together funded by the community for the community.”
True to its name, BnkToTheFuture could very well prove revolutionary. While crowdfunding has become commonplace these days, equity crowdfunding hasn’t quite made as big a splash as some had anticipated. That said, given the enthusiasm found in the crypto community, the medium seems primed for such startups. For this reason and many others, it’s worth keeping an eye on Celsius and seeing what they do with their newfound funds.