Coinbase Global Sets Direct Listing for April 14 to Go Public – The Wall Street Journal

Coinbase Global Inc. plans to go public in a highly anticipated direct listing on April 14, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange said Thursday.

The company, founded in 2012, provides services for institutional and retail clients in the crypto markets. It has grown to about 1,200 employees and 43 million customers in more than 100 countries. In 2020, it brought in $1.3 billion in revenue and turned a profit of $322 million.

In a direct listing, companies save the money they would pay to investment banks in a traditional initial public offering, but they don’t raise any money in the process. In private markets, Coinbase shares had recently changed hands at a price that would give the company a valuation of $67.6 billion, it disclosed in a regulatory filing. With $1 billion in cash on hand, the company has a big war chest to ride bitcoin’s notorious ups and downs.

Coinbase’s fortunes are closely intertwined with bitcoin, the digital currency launched more than a decade ago. Fully 96% of Coinbase’s revenue comes from transaction fees, which means the company benefits when bitcoin is in one of its frantic trading phases. In 2019, a down year for bitcoin, the company lost about $30 million.

The digital currency is currently in the midst of a big upswing. Bitcoin was trading above $58,000 on Thursday and has doubled since the beginning of the year.


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