Asian digital asset custody firm Hex Trust announced an $88 million Series B funding round led by blockchain games firm Animoca Brands and Liberty City Ventures with a long list of other participants. It also revealed that it has 200 institutional clients and $5 billion in assets under custody.
With licenses in Hong Kong and Singapore, the startup plans to use the funding to expand into Europe and the Middle East.
The custody sector has attracted massive funding rounds. Fireblocks, with $45 billion in assets under custody, has raised more than $1 billion to date. It boasts BNY Mellon as a client. State Street Digital has just announced a deal with UK-based Copper, which raised a $50 million Series B funding.
For now, the big name conventional custodians such as BNY Mellon and State Street add significant credibility. Still, the volumes are coming from the cryptocurrency sector, as shown by Hex Trust’s long list of crypto backers.
As with most of the major custodians like Fireblocks and KKR-backed Anchorage, Hex’s offering is not limited purely to custody. Its HexSafe solution also enables access to Defi, prime brokers, and other offerings. Last year Hex created a joint venture with Animoca to provide secure wallets and financial services to gamers.
Animoca, with its successful blockchain games such as The Sandbox and wide range of investments, can introduce a lot of volume for Hex. The custody firm has a presence in The Sandbox and provides custody for sales of LAND NFTs. A long list of other blockchain investors (below) can also funnel custody volumes to Hex.
“As large institutions continue adopting digital assets at an increased pace, they need fully licensed custody services to meet compliance and regulatory standards,” said Alessio Quaglini, CEO and co-founder of Hex Trust. “Our mission at Hex Trust remains the same: to stay ahead of the curve in terms of licensing and compliance, integrating the latest developments.”
The startup mentioned several other clients that it onboarded in the last year, including Algorand, Terraform Labs, Tezos, Celo, Flare Networks, Huobi Asset Management, UnionBank of the Philippines, Ripple Labs, DLA Piper, Sun Hung Kai, Slow Ventures, HOF Capital, and Arrington Capital.
Some of these names are on the list of other participants in the Series B round that included Ripple, Terra, Morgan Creek, Primavera Venture Partners, LeadBlock Partners, Eterna Capital, Sino Global Capital, Topaz, Adrian Cheng (CEO of Hong Kong real estate giant New World Development), BlockFi, CoinList, Protocol Labs, Pulsar Trading, and Wintermute. Several existing investors participated, such as QBN Capital, Kenetic Capital, HashKey Capital, Fenbushi Capital, Radiant Ventures, and Cell Rising.