Gemini, the New York City-based cryptocurrency platform launched by bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has raised US$400 million in its first-ever outside financing, valuing the company at US$7.1 billion.
The growth equity round was led by Morgan Creek Digital with participation from 10T, ParaFi, Newflow Partners, Marcy Venture Partners, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, among other investors.
Founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins, Gemini has grown to become one of the world’s leading crypto platforms. In addition to buying, selling, and storing crypto, the company helps investors earn, spend, and learn about crypto, as well as create and collect non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Gemini says it will use the proceeds of the funding round to continue bringing “simple, innovative, and secure products” to the market and advance its geographic expansion.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss started amassing their fortune through early investments in bitcoin.
“We are leading the first outside investment in Gemini because of our shared conviction in crypto and belief in the company that Cameron and Tyler are building,” says Sachin Jaitly, general partner of Morgan Creek Digital. “Their vision for the role of crypto in redesigning money, the financial system, art, and the internet, and their track record of incubating and scaling innovative technologies give us confidence in Gemini’s ability to continue to be an industry leader.”
“Gemini is the portal into crypto for new and seasoned investors alike,” says Gemini co-founder and chief executive officer Tyler Winklevoss. "The investors that we have brought on in this round share our ambitious vision for the future.”
Gemini has a very busy year in 2021. It acquired Blockrize to help launch the Gemini Credit Card, which offers real-time crypto rewards and is said to have a waitlist of more than 360,000 people. It also snapped up ShardX, a developer of secure multi-party computation (MPC) technology to enhance its crypto listing and custodial services.
So far, Gemini supports more than 60 cryptos for trading and custody, with crypto assets under custody worth more than US$30 billion.
During the year, it also launched Gemini Earn, which allows users to lend their crypto and earn up to 8.05% annual percentage yield. To date, Gemini Earn has originated US$4 billion in crypto loans.
Gemini Fund Solutions was established this year to provide fund managers with custody, clearing, and trading support for crypto ETFs, closed-end funds, and other fund vehicles. Cryptopedia, an open-access educational resource for all things crypto, also started this year.
The company is a pioneer in the NFT digital art and collectibles space. Since its launch, Nifty Gateway has recorded more than US$420 million in sales through 375 unique artist collaborations.
Gemini entered the United Kingdom this year, becoming a registered crypto-asset firm with an electronic money institution (EMI) from the Financial Conduct Authority. It has plans to expand further into Asia-Pacific, having applied for a licence with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Says co-founder and president Cameron Winklevoss: “In 2021 we diversified our revenue stream, expanded to new territories, acquired pioneering companies, and invested in industry-redefining innovations through the Gemini Frontier Fund. We also supported bitcoin’s core development through the Gemini Opportunity Fund.”
The Winklevoss twins started amassing their fortune through their early investments in bitcoin, when the cryptocurrency was said to be worth only US$10 per unit. They also became known for their high-profile legal disputes with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who they claimed had stolen their idea to create the social media giant. They also competed in the men's pair rowing event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.