Bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt is going public as part of a merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings, a special purpose vehicle (SPAC) set up to bring start-up companies public.
Both companies have now confirmed the transaction and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the new name Bakkt Holdings Inc. sometime in the second quarter of 2021. Rumors of the deal have increased since early January.
After the merger, Bakkt is expected to have an enterprise value of $ 2.1 billion announced on January 11th. Bakkt was founded in 2018 by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owners of NYSE, as an institutional crypto trading platform. However, the exchange faced stiff competition from market leaders such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
According to the announcement, the exchange will raise an additional $ 582 million through a private placement, using existing cash at VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings and contributions from ICE.
The money is expected to fund Bakkt’s lynchpin in developing consumer applications for digital assets. Bakkt is expanding its business model with a new app that allows users to acquire crypto assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), along with reward and loyalty points slated for launch in March.
According to Bakkt, more than 400,000 customers have pre-registered for the app. The exchange, which supports over 30 loyalty program sponsors and 200 gift card dealers, is aimed at 30 million users over the next five years. Starbucks has already integrated Bakkt Cash as a payment method for its customers.
In its statement, Bakkt stated that it aims to “enable additional consumer spending, reduce traditional payment costs and strengthen loyalty programs to create value for all major stakeholders within the payments and digital asset ecosystem”.
Bakkt’s announcement follows the filing of a draft registration statement by US crypto exchange Coinbase with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an IPO.
Through the SPAC, the so-called blank check companies that allow other companies to go public, Bakkt has avoided the often lengthy process associated with IPOs – road shows, issuing prospectuses, selling shares to investors, etc.
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