Coinbase made history on Wednesday as the largest firm specializing in cryptocurrencies to make its stock market debut through a direct listing on the Nasdaq.
Shares of the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange, which are now trading under the ticker COIN, opened for at $381 apiece, giving the company a valuation of about $99.5 billion.
A direct listing allows a company to go public without issuing new shares and raising capital. The process allows current investors to begin selling shares once they begin trading on the exchange.
|COIN||COINBASE GLOBAL INC.||177.58||+7.38||+4.34%|
Here is a FOX Business roundup of some of Coinbase's earliest individual investors and firms who backed the company on its journey to become one of the most highly anticipated IPOs of 2021.
Coinbase Co-Founder Brian Armstrong & Marc Andreesen
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has been the largest backer of Coinbase since its inception, with the firm's co-founders and general partners Marc Andreessen and Kathryn Haun both currently serving on the cryptocurrency exchange operator's board of directors. In 2018, the firm was part of a group of investors who contributed to a $300 million Series E equity funding round.
According to an SEC filing, Marc Andreessen owns 5,516,037 Class A shares and 23,961,498, the largest individual shareholder behind the company's CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong, who has 2,753,924 Class A shares and 36,851,833 Class B shares.
Andreesen has notably backed many start-ups including Netscape, a 1990s computer services company best known for its Web browser, Navigator, which introduced the internet to millions. He also sits on Facebook's board of directors.
Andreesen Horowitz and its entities own more than 5% of Coinbase's outstanding capital stock.
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Fred Wilson and Union Square Ventures
Fred Wilson, a partner at venture capital firm Union Square Ventures, has been a member of Coinbase's board since January 2017.
Wilson co-led Coinbase's Series A funding round back in 2013 which raised $5 million. Union Square Ventures was also part of a group of investors who raised $75 million for Coinbase during its Series C funding round which raised $75 million.
Entities affiliated with Union Square Ventures own 13,902,324 of Class B Shares, while Wilson himself owns 13,902,324 Class B shares.
Fred Ehrsam and Paradigm
Fred Ehrsam III, co-founder and a managing partner of crypto-focused investment firm Paradigm is the co-founder of Coinbase. As of November 2019, Paradigm Fund L.P. owns more than 5% of Coinbase's outstanding Class A common stock.
Entities affiliated with Paradigm own 2,570,459 Class A shares, and Ehrsam owns 2,570,459 Class A shares and 15,114,503 Class B Shares.
Ehrsam's alma mater, Duke University, also reportedly made an early investment in Coinbase through its endowment fund.
U.S. rapper Nasir Jones, or Nas as he is referred to, is the founder of Queensbridge venture partners. According to Coindesk, Nas' firm made an investment during Coinbase's Series B funding round in 2013, when the company raised $25 million, and a source told the outlet that he still remains on the company's cap table, a full list of all investors.
FOX Business' inquiries to Queensbridge were not immediately returned.
Fmr. Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and fmr. Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer
Former CEOs of Citigroup and Thomson Reuters, Vikram Pandit and Tom Glocer respectively, also made personal investments during Coinbase's Series C funding round.
Glocer told the Wall Street Journal he was attracted to Coinbase because he saw it as a better way to bet than investing directly in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
"They’re supplying the tools you need to take part in [the developing world of bitcoin]", Glocer told the outlet at the time. "We’re seeing the reinvention of financial services, in a very interesting way."
Glocer confirmed to FOX Business that he is still a stakeholder in Coinbase today.
Meanwhile, Pandit first praised Coinbase back in 2014, according to Coindesk.
"It’s a wallet for bitcoin, but could be a wallet for ‘bityen’. It could be ‘bitdollar’, it could be ‘biteuro’ – doesn’t matter," Pandit said. "What's the beauty of this particular company? They can transfer money anywhere around the world at zero cost, freely. So it is a payment system, where this payment system is cost-free versus other payment systems, which are costly."
Pandit did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.
Ribbit Capital, the firm behind the investing platform Robinhood, joined Coinbase's Series A funding round back in 2013. According to the SEC filing, Ribbit Capital owns at least 5% of Coinbaise shares. In total, entities affiliated with Ribbit own 11,995,949 Class B shares.
Tiger Global Management
Tiger Global Management led Coinbase's $300 million Series E funding round. According to the SEC filing, the company owns 2,624,880 Class A shares, and is among firms that own more than 5% of Coinbase's capital stock.