FalconX, buoyed by institutional crypto demand, raises $210 million

FalconX, one of the several platforms seeking to draw major investors to the cryptocurrency market, announced Tuesday a Series C funding round that clinched its unicorn status with a valuation of $3.75 billion.

The firm, which raised $50 million in a Series B round in March, said the round will help it further scale its business. The Series B round valued the firm at $675 million. 

Investors in the round included Tiger Global, Alimeter Capital, B Capital and Sapphire Ventures. American Express' venture arm and Mirae Asset also participated in the round. 

The firm is facilitating $10 billion in monthly volumes and now needs the wherewithal to help its clients adjust to operating in the 24-7 market and explore new opportunities in decentralized finance and stablecoins. 

"Institutions were coming in with bitcoin as an inflation hedge," CEO Raghu Yarlagadda said in an interview with The Block, referring to the environment when it raised this past spring. Since then, clients have expanded their scope, according to Yarlagadda.

"They are going a lot deeper. There is new interest in Ethereum...Definitely a lot of questions on DeFi and yield generation," he said.

Yarlagadda told The Block in March that he expects large hedge funds, which top $500 million or larger in size, to comprise as much as 30% of its customer base. FalconX now says it is trending towards that goal. 

The firm is looking to carve a specific niche in the crypto credit market, offering its clients access to financing. A beefed-up balance sheet will allow it to expand its delayed settlement product, which lets its clients delay the timeframe which they need to settle a trade to 20 days after the point of execution. 

"There is massive demand for that and so we have to expand the balance sheet," Yarlagadda said.