Ledger, a Paris-based startup specializing in the development of hardware wallets for cryptocurrency investors to store their digital assets, has successfully raised a substantial portion of its €100 million ($109 million) funding round at its first close.
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This achievement has been made possible by the instability and uncertainty that has plagued the cryptocurrency industry in recent times.
This funding round has resulted in the valuation of Ledger at €1.3 billion, which is the same value it attained through its previous funding round in June 2021. The company has announced that a second closing is expected to take place in mid-April, with a third closing to follow due to the high level of investor interest.
The cryptocurrency industry witnessed a tumultuous year in 2022, with the collapse of exchanges such as FTX and numerous large-scale hacks.
As a result, investors became hesitant about storing their funds and assets on online platforms, leading to an outflow from centralized venues.
“Suddenly people were like ‘wow, to leave crypto on an exchange is actually dangerous,”’ Pascal Gauthier, Ledger’s Chief Executive Officer, said in an interview in the French capital.
“And 2023 is even better for us because now you can’t even leave money at a Swiss bank.”
This development, however, has been advantageous for companies like Ledger, whose devices allow users to store their private keys, which are the passwords providing access to their blockchain assets, on secure hardware, unlike digital wallets.
The success of Ledger in raising a significant portion of its funding round demonstrates the increasing demand for secure cryptocurrency storage solutions in a volatile industry, and it positions the company to further meet the needs of investors seeking to protect their digital assets.
According to Ledger’s CEO Pascal Gauthier, the infusion of funds will be utilized to facilitate the growth of the company by enhancing the production of its products, expanding its network of distributors, and advancing its business strategies.
Ledger reported an unprecedented sales volume in November, setting new records daily during the week following the collapse of FTX.
Gauthier also stated that the revenue generated by Ledger Live, the company’s app for buying and selling crypto, has experienced a remarkable year-on-year growth of 200%.
Furthermore, the company asserts that it currently stores more than 20% of the world’s cryptocurrencies and 30% of the world’s non-fungible tokens.
As part of its efforts to become a prominent consumer brand, the company has formed partnerships with luxury brands such as Fendi and Hublot, established a platform for artists and brands to release their NFTs, and introduced a new version of its hardware wallet designed by Tony Fadell, who created the iPod, iPhone, and co-founded Nest.
“The Internet was this revolution of information, and now it’s given birth to this revolution of value,” said Ian Rogers, former chief digital officer at luxury conglomerate LVMH and Ledger’s chief experience officer since January 2021.
“From the speculation, to NFTs, to digital collectibles, digital tickets, digital memberships and ultimately digital identity.”
The company has secured investments from a group of notable investors, including True Global Ventures, Cité Gestion SPV, Digital Finance Group, and VaynerFund. These investors have joined the company’s existing backers such as 10T, Cap Horn, Morgan Creek, and Cathay Innovation.
Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE has served as the sole placement agent, while Jones Day has offered legal advisory services to the company. The influx of investments from reputable investors, coupled with the support of experienced placement agents and legal advisors, serves as a testament to the company’s potential for growth and profitability.