British crypto startup Copper is working on a fundraise of up to $500 million, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The investment will value Copper at more than $1 billion, vaulting it to unicorn status — a term reserved for privately-held tech startups with valuations upwards of a billion dollars. It is not yet clear exactly what the valuation will be.
The company is expected to announce the fundraise before the end of the year, but the round has not yet closed, nor has a lead investor been earmarked, according to sources.
Copper declined to comment.
Copper has already raised $75 million through an extended Series B round earlier this year. The first $50 million tranche of that transaction came in May and was led by Dawn Capital and Target Global, with participation from Illuminate Financial Management. British billionaire and former Brevan Howard CEO Alan Howard then invested another $25 million in the business in June.
Aside from fundraising, Copper recently announced the appointment of former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond as a senior advisor to the business. The Conservative Party politician — who served as Chancellor from 2016 to 2019 — will provide strategic advice to the startup as it expands internationally, as well as promote the United Kingdom as a digital assets hub.
In a recent interview with The Block, Hammond said that the dialogue among U.K. policymakers needs to shift “from talking about digital assets to implementing a legal framework that enables firms to embrace them.”
Founded in 2018, Copper uses multi-party computation (MPC), an emerging cryptographic method for securing private keys, to help guard crypto holdings against cybercrime.
Copper’s signature product, ClearLoop, is a system that connects cryptocurrency exchanges together in to enable instant, offline trade settlements. The company also offers payment settlement and prime brokerage services.
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