USDC Builder Circle Raises $440M

28 May 2021

The crypto-native financial services firm behind the USDC stablecoin has raised a massive funding round.

Announced Friday, Circle has raised $440 million from a roster of major backers.

“The financing included investments from leading private equity, institutional and strategic investors, including Fidelity Management and Research Company, Marshall Wace, Willett Advisors, Intersection Fintech Ventures, Atlas Merchant Capital, Digital Currency Group, FTX, Breyer Capital, Valor Capital Group, Pillar VC, as well as Michael J. Price and Friends,” the firm said in a press release.

The funding round comes as USDC surges in popularity in the stablecoin sector. Administered in partnership with Coinbase, the dollar-backed coin is seen as the safer cousin to the industry-leading USDT.

Questions have recently surfaced about the dollar reserves backing USDC, however. Attestations on USDC’s reserves have not been published since March.

The stablecoin has picked up momentum in recent weeks with a key integration with Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire. The teams announced this month that the SBF-owned FTX and Blockfolio would become “USDC native.”

“At FTX we’re excited to partner further with Circle to help expand these capabilities to all crypto users,” Bankman-Fried said in a statement.

A Circle spokesman declined to comment on the company’s valuation. Fellow stablecoin issuer Paxos was valued at $2.4 billion after raising a $300 million Series D in April.

There is currently $22 billion in USDC in circulation, according to Circle and CoinGecko. The digital dollars can be zapped around internet outside of traditional banking rails are used on popular consumer platforms like Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot and a number of other services.

UPDATE (May 28, 18:30 UTC): Adds additional context and information.

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