The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has backed US cryptocurrency exchange Gemini in a US$400 million (A$500m) capital raise.
It was Gemini’s first outside financing, and values the business, founded in 2015 by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, at US$7.1 billion.
The round was led by Morgan Creek Digital with CBA taking a minority stake alongside 10T, ParaFi, Newflow Partners, and Marcy Venture Partners
CBA’s investment comes just a fortnight after the bank announced it would allow CommBank app customers to buy, sell and hold crypto assets. The bank engaged Gemini and blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis to design the crypto exchange and custody service for the app.
A pilot will start in the new few weeks with CBA planning to progressively rollout more features to more customers in 2022.
Users can access to up to 10 selected crypto assets including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
CBA CEO Matt Comyn said it was a strategic investment in the cryptocurrency platform.
“In looking at ways that we can support our customers, we have made the strategic decision to partner with Gemini, a global leader with strong security and a track-record of serving large institutions,” he said.
“Our investment in Gemini is part of an exclusive partnership in Australia and New Zealand. We congratulate Gemini on the completion of their capital raise, and look forward to working closely with them in the months and years ahead.”
Gemini also expanded into the UK this year and is also looking to expand further into the Asia Pacific region.
Cameron Winklevoss, Gemini’s president, said the company will use its first raise to new products to market, and continue international expansion.
“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 core development through the Gemini Opportunity Fund,” he said.
“We are incredibly excited to continue to build on the frontier of crypto and give individuals around the world greater choice, independence, and opportunity through crypto.”