ConsenSys, a New York-based company that develops and invests in projects built on the Ethereum blockchain, has raised $200 million, tipping its valuation to over $3.2 billion, according to an announcement. Its investors include HSBC, Coinbase Ventures and Marshall Wace. ParaFi and Thirdpoint also invested in the raise.
Last month, The Financial Times reported that the company was raising funds in a round that would value it $3 billion, some six months after raising a $65 million fund from Mastercard and JPMorgan in April.
ConsenSys is known for its plethora of blockchain products, including developer tool Infura and wallet browser extension MetaMask. Both have seen rapid growth in the past year with Infura growing 250% from 100k to 350k users and Metamask’s monthly user base numbering 21 million.
“ConsenSys has been at the heart of Web3 and developing products for [users] from literally day zero,” said Lex Sokolin global fintech co-head and head economist at Consensys. “I mean, more so than anyone. This is an ecosystem that we have largely seeded and built. And now we're in the process of helping people scale it out.”
Post-funding plans in the pipeline
Hinting at the company’s post-funding plans, CEO and co-founder Joseph Lubin recently floated the prospect of a MetaMask native token — a plan that Sokolin was unable to confirm or deny. He added, however, that it was very exciting to him that the community was so enthused about tokens across ConsenSys’ product range.
According to a statement released on Wednesday, the company plans to use the $200 million to enhance its presence in Asia. Marshall Wace partner Amit Rajpal, who oversees the hedge fund's operations in Asia, led its investment in ConsenSys.
ConsenSys is supporting ten CBDC projects worldwide with six in the Asia Pacific region, notably in Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.
“When a company like Marshall Wace talks about Asian expansion, I think the signal is probably deeper engagement with [Asian] regulators, institutional partners, institutional asset managers and financial players to provide access to retail and institutional users for ConsenSys,” said Sokolin.
Aside from its Asian plans, the company will further focus on driving mainstream adoption of NFTs and will hire 400 new people.
The new hires come after previous employee culls. In February 2020, the company fired 20% of its staff to make it more attractive to outside investors. Previous restructuring efforts occurred in 2018.
According to Coindesk, a group of these former employees and shareholders are currently readying legal action over improperly valued assets during a transfer between ConsenSys Inc and ConsenSys AG — its investment arm also known as Mesh.
“We believe that these shareholders are confused on a number of key factual points,” a ConsenSys spokesperson told Coindesk. “We have been working to share information with them that we think will further clarify the record and give them a greater understanding of matters they do not yet accurately understand.”
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