Bitwise has enlisted the backing of a long roster of financial heavy hitters in a funding round announced Tuesday.
The firm, which has raised $70 million at a $500 million valuation, added financiers like Henry Kravis — founder of KKR — and Stan Druckenmiller, the billionaire hedge funder.
The round was co-led by cryptocurrency investment firm Electric Capital and Elad Gil, who's previously invested in Brex, Gusto, and Coinbase. Among the other new investors include Daniel Loeb's Third Point and Robert Leshner, founder of Compound.
Speaking on the news, Loeb — who is a client of the asset management firm — said, “We are excited to partner with Bitwise and its top-notch management team to continue to execute on its vision to become an enduring institution and leader in the crypto economy.”
Bitwise, an asset manager with more than $1 billion in assets, offers a wide range of products in the multi-trillion market, including index funds and fund products, such as its recently launched Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF. The firm will use the new cash to court new clientele and enhance its brand as a trusted partner in holding cryptocurrency for the long term.
In an interview with The Block, Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley, a former product manager at Instagram, said the firm is profitable and did not need to raise a round. Nevertheless, the deeper pockets will help it expand the number of talks it is having with banks and wealth management platforms to push its products to Wall Street. It plans to role out new strategies and structures for products "to access the full range of stuff going on in crypto."
"These are the best in class firms, organizations, cultures, brands in each of their areas," he said speaking to the legion of new investors. "They understand the ins and outs of Wall Street and the different platforms and can help us navigate the asset management landscape they know so well."
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