By Nancy Dahlberg
Miami-based blockchain startup Securitize, which provides asset tokenization services, has raised $48 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Morgan Stanley.
Securitize's largest investor, Blockchain Capital, also co-led the round along with investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value. Participating in the round were new investors including Ava Labs, IDC Ventures, Migration Capital, NTT Data and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and existing investors Blockchain Ventures, Borderless Capital, Global Brain, Mouro Capital, Ripio, Ripple and SPiCE VC.
Significantly, this was Morgan Stanley’s first investment in a blockchain technology company, providing validation in the space by one of the country’s largest banks and demonstrating that confidence in the adoption and growth of digital asset securities is becoming increasingly mainstream, said co-founder and CEO Carlos Domingo.
Morgan Stanley sees “this as the future of finance -- a future platform for finance. The market potential is huge,” Dominguez said in an interview with Bloomberg, which broke the news.
"Securitize is well-recognized for pioneering the securitization of digital asset securities on the blockchain, and for its fully-compliant and fully-digital end-to-end to solution that enables private companies to raise capital, and for investors to find a path to liquidity," said Pedro Teixeira, Co-Head of Morgan Stanley Tactical Value, in a statement. "We make long-term investments in businesses and asset classes that are ahead of the curve.”
As part of the transaction, Securitize will add Teixeira to its board of directors. The Series B round brings Securitize's total funding to date to $87.5 million, according to Crunchbase.
Domingo said Securitize investors will receive their shares in the form of digital asset securities issued by Securitize. “We will be tokenizing our cap table using our platform so all our existing and new investors will get Securitize IDs and accounts where we will be depositing digital asset securities.”
Founded in 2017, Securitize is the leading digital asset securities firm reinventing private capital markets with a trusted end-to-end solution leveraging the blockchain to empower companies to compliantly raise capital and enable individual investors to participate. Securitize’s platform supports more than 150 brands and 300,000 investors. The company is awaiting regulatory approval for both its trading platform and its app, with signoff expected in coming months, Domingo told Bloomberg.
"Blockchain Capital has been a believer in digital asset securities ever since we issued one of the first security tokens in 2017 and Securitize, who we were an early investor in, has emerged as the unquestioned leader in this growing space," said Blockchain Capital Managing Partner Brad Stephens, in a statement.
Securitize recently launched of an asset management subsidiary, Securitize Capital, and two inaugural cryptocurrency yield funds. Securitize also enabled digital wallet company Exodus to raise a record $75 million in Reg A+ compliant Series A funding, and recently made new executive hires in sales, marketing, operations, and legal/compliance, the company said.
Securitize's significant round is further validation of Miami's rise as a blockchain and crypto hub, which has been aggressively pushed by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. There has been a slew of news developments in the last month: Crypocurrency platforms Blockchain.com and eToro and VC firm Borderless Capital recently announced relocations or expansions to Miami; Borderless also announced a Miami fund. FTX won naming rights to Miami's arena and is also opening an office. Miami blockchain startup QuickNode raised seed funding from Alexis Ohanian and SoftBank, and Miami recently hosted the Bitcoin 2021 Conference, drawing 12,000 -- and Jack Dorsey.
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