Coin Metrics, a cryptocurrency data provider, is growing up.
The firm announced Thursday that it has raised $1.9 million of venture funding. Castle Island Ventures led the financing round with participation from investors including Fidelity Investments, Highland Capital Partners and Dragonfly Capital.
Coin Metrics was founded in 2017 by Nic Carter and Aleksei Nokhrin as an open-source blockchain data and analytics projects. In their blog post introducing Coin Metrics, Carter and Nokhrin note that their original goal was to “equip serious investors with the tools to appraise cryptoassets in a rigorous, careful manner.”
For a majority of 2017 and 2018, Coin Metrics was funded entirely from donations and a few sponsorships. In November 2018, the team brought on Tim Rice, a former Thomson Reuters executive, as its co-founding CEO to lead its push into the institutional space.
“We are evolving from an open-source community-based project,” Rice tells The Block. “We view the next iteration for Coin Metrics is building and advancing our data for institutions.”
Rice tells The Block that Coin Metrics is pulling trading data from between 50–60 global cryptocurrency exchanges. Additionally, the firm is building out several data factories with one already established in Europe and another being built in the U.S.
“The situation where crypto is traded is different from other industries,” Rice states, adding that data providers in traditional equities markets only have to pull market data from one specific exchange. Rice gives the example of IBM; if a data provider needs market data from IBM, they will pull data from the New York Stock Exchange, where IBM is listed.
Cryptocurrencies, however, are traded on multiple exchanges with different trading volumes and activity.
In a press statement, Alex Pack of Dragonfly Capital said: “our firm works with some of the largest funds, exchanges, and traders in the cryptoasset class and we’ve seen first-hand how the lack of trustworthy data holds back the industry.”
Coin Metrics’ initial target will be crypto enthusiasts and medium to large hedge funds. The firm says it plans to see revenue in the next 30–90 days. And while Coin Metrics is looking to target institutions, the firm clarifies that it will continue to maintain its popular free data services for the crypto community: “we will never degrade the quality of the community feed — it will be much enhanced in the coming months and years. Our core objective remains making blockchain data available for the broader community.”
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