Capital markets News

Alphabet, Softbank invest in Digital Currency Group

cryptocurrency bitcoin ethereum

Digital Currency Group (DCG) has sold $700 million shares at a $10 billion valuation led by Softbank’s Vision Fund 2 and Latin American Fund. Other investors include Alphabet’s Capital G, state-owned Singapore fund GIC, and Ribbit Capital. DCG has an extensive cryptocurrency investment portfolio of more than 200 startups as well as five subsidiaries, Grayscale, known for its Bitcoin Trust, Coindesk, Genesis Trading, mining firm Foundry and the Luno cryptocurrency exchange.

We believe this $100 million investment is the first in cryptocurrency for Capital G, which is positioned as an independent Alphabet growth fund. However, Google Cloud has previously made investments in public blockchain tokens where it desires to be a hosting partner. These include Hedera Hashgraph, the Theta network, Flow Blockchain and EOS.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the DCG investment round is a secondary sale rather than fundraising, enabling early investors to take profits. However, none exited completely and founder Barry Silbert did not sell stock. 

Meanwhile, Softbank only started investing in cryptocurrencies in the last few months. Softbank Group International’s CEO Marcelo Claure said of DCG, “It is basically the single-best asset that gives us the diversity of exposure to crypto, A-Z.” 

Softbank’s other cryptocurrency investments have included leading the $680 million Series B round in sports NFT startup Sorare, and co-leading the $100 million round in another sport NFT venture Candy Digital. It also invested in blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.