(Bloomberg) -- Matrixport Technologies Pte, one of Asia's biggest crypto lenders, is targeting $100 million in funding at a higher valuation, even as the fall of FTX reverberates across the digital asset market.
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The Singapore outfit has commitments from lead investors for $50 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion in the round, up from $1 billion a year earlier, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal has yet to be finalized and the company is still seeking investors for the other half of the round, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private information. It's not immediately clear who the round's lead investors are.
"Matrixport routinely engages with key stakeholders as part of its normal course of business, including investors keen to participate and enable our vision as a digital assets financial services provider," the company's public relations head Ross Gan said, confirming the fundraising plan.
Matrixport, founded by crypto billionaire Wu Jihan, belongs to a class of firms trying to bring a familiar Wall Street formula to the virtual-asset landscape. It offers crypto financial services from custody to trading and structured products -- to both institutional and retail customers. In Asia, it competes with firms like Babel Finance, which is restructuring after taking hits from this year's crypto meltdown, and Temasek Holdings Pte.-backed Amber Group.
Investors have been burned by a series of high-profile crypto failures in recent months, sparking fresh concern over loose regulation of the industry and a lack of guardrails to protect client assets. In the aftermath of FTX's collapse, Matrixport said this month it has no risk of insolvency with respect to Sam Bankman-Fried's empire, but dozens of its customers incurred losses via exposure to FTX-linked products on its platform.
Matrixport says it handles $5 billion of trades each month and has tens of billions of dollars of assets under management and custody, according to an investor deck viewed by Bloomberg News. The firm employs close to 300 people, it says.
Wu, the co-founder of crypto-mining behemoth Bitmain Technologies Ltd., turned his second venture into a unicorn last summer, when Matrixport raised more than $100 million from backers including DST Global and Tiger Global. Matrixport also counted IDG Capital and Dragonfly Capital as investors.
Wu spun Matrixport off from Bitmain in 2019, after the world's largest maker of Bitcoin mining rigs ran into a cash crunch. The Chinese crypto mogul now serves as chairman of Matrixport and his mining firm Bitdeer Technologies Holding Co.
Read More: Crypto Firm Amber Seeks $100 Million Funds at 'Flat' Valuation
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