Canadian cryptocurrency lender Ledn has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round.
The round was led by London-based investment firm Kingsway Capital, with participation from new investors like British billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, ParaFi Capital, Hashed, and others. All existing investors of Ledn's seed extension round, worth $2.7 million, also participated in the Series A round.
As part of the deal, Manuel Stotz, founder of Kingsway Capital, joined Ledn's board of directors.
With fresh capital at hand, Ledn is looking to grow its team and footprint. The firm's current headcount is 40 and it plans to expand to 100 employees by the end of this year, Ledn co-founder Mauricio Di Bartolomeo told The Block. The Series A round brings Ledn's total funding to date to $35 million and its valuation to $230 million, said Bartolomeo.
As for its expansion plans, Ledn aims to offer its products and services in markets including Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Founded in 2018, Ledn provides three key products: Bitcoin-backed loans, bitcoin, and USDC savings accounts, and trading between bitcoin via USDC via Ledn Trade.
Ledn said its assets, i.e., balances in its bitcoin and USDC savings accounts, and collateral placed for its bitcoin-backed loans, have exceeded $1 billion.
In Q1 2021, Ledn originated over $120 million in bitcoin-backed loans, said Bartolomeo. When asked what has been the trading volume of Ledn Trade, Bartolomeo declined to provide details as the feature is available in select markets. "We want to accelerate the broad roll-out of our Trade feature," he said.
Ledn says its competitive edge is transparency and accountability standards. Bartolomeo said Ledn is the only crypto lending company that undergoes a formal proof-of-reserves attestation by Armanino LLP, a public accounting and consulting firm. All client assets and lending operations are reviewed on an ongoing basis, said Bartolomeo.
"Growing up in Venezuela, I saw first hand how an unregulated system with little to no transparency can impact its people, and that's why it's such a core component of how we manage the funds our clients entrust to us," said Bartolomeo.
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