4 December 2022

Coinbase Inc. Could be the First to Go Public

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Coinbase Inc., the San Francisco crypotcurrency exchange, could go public by the end of 2020, according to a report from Reuters, which cited three people familiar with the matter.

The plans are in the early stages and would require the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission. It would be the first cryptocurrency company to go public.

Sources told Reuters Coinbase has been in talks to hire investment banks and law firms. The company said Wednesday it has hired Paul Grewal, vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook, to be its chief legal officer.

Coinbase told Reuters it does not comment on rumors or speculation.

The news agency said the company is considering a direct listing, which has become more common in recent years because new shares are not issued and existing investors can sell their shares more easily.

Coinbase, founded in 2012, was valued at $8 billion at its last funding round of $300 million in 2018. It has raised more than $500 million in total and says it has more than 35 million users who trade virtual currency.

The company is among the most valuable alumni of Y Combinator, emerging from the Mountain View-based accelerator in its Summer 2012 batch. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, DFJ Growth, Blockchain Capital and Union Square Ventures.

The IPO market so far in 2020 has been dominated by life sciences and biotech companies, but in the last month several tech companies have been said to be eyeing the public markets, including Airbnb, Unity Technologies, Shift Technologies, Palantir and Snowflake.

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