Kevin O’Leary’s WonderFi acquires Bitbuy, transaction valued at $206 million

Rick Steves

WonderFi will onboard more than 375,000 registered users to its DeFi ecosystem as well as over $455 million of assets under custody.

WonderFi Technologies has agreed to acquire First Ledger Corp., the parent company of Canada-based regulated cryptocurrency platform, Bitbuy.

The integration of Bitbuy will establish WonderFi as a leading end-to-end consumer platform for people seeking access to crypto and decentralized finance, the firm stated.

Bitbuy, the first approved crypto marketplace in Canada

Founded in 2016, Bitbuy has grown to become one of North America’s leading crypto marketplaces and a trusted execution platform that services over 375,000 users, with more than $4.4 billion transacted through the platform.

Bitbuy has successfully obtained approval as a crypto marketplace from Canada’s financial watchdog in November 2021.

In November 2021, Bitbuy became Canada’s first approved crypto marketplace, and was recently ranked 9th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ program, with 3,379% in revenue growth from 2017 to 2020 making it the highest-ranking crypto asset trading platform amongst the Fast 50 winners. In the twelve months ended September 30, 2021, Bitbuy generated over $31.0 million in revenue.

Ben Samaroo, Chief Executive Officer of WonderFi, said: “The integration of WonderFi and Bitbuy is a huge step forward in our mission of democratizing finance through easy and secure access to DeFi and crypto. A licensed marketplace serves as a crucial gateway to the digital asset economy, and facilitates a robust end-to-end, unified client experience. The integration of Bitbuy’s product suite will accelerate and expand the reach and scope that WonderFi can offer to the market, and will drive long-term growth and value for the Company.”

Kevin O’Leary, strategic advisor to WonderFi commented: “This is a combination of two management teams with excellent executional skills that now have the bandwidth, assets and licenses to provide an institutional grade compliant crypto platform to investors interested in exposure to centralized and decentralized financial services.”

Dean Skurka, President and CFO of Bitbuy, said: “This transaction represents an exciting new chapter for Bitbuy. The alignment with WonderFi’s talented team, along with numerous operational synergies, represents opportunities for future growth we can collectively share with our clients, staff and shareholders.”

FinanceFeeds webinar: Expert panel to discuss market data for multi-asset brokerages  

375,000 users and $455 million AUM for $206 million

Bitbuy has a demonstrated history of material revenue growth and will introduce multiple new business lines to WonderFi, including an approved crypto marketplace and OTC business that services both retail and institutional clients.

Its front-end business line enables a licensed fiat on-ramp and platform to a growing Canadian market segment for WonderFi, which will also onboard more than 375,000 registered users to its DeFi ecosystem as well as over $455 million of assets under custody.

The integration will also bring new features, offerings and functionality to an existing user base on the Bitbuy platform while WonderFi becomes the owner and operator of the first crypto marketplace license in Canada.

The deal consists of $20 million in upfront cash and $30 million in deferred cash via a vendor-takeback note due in 12 months, implying an aggregate transaction value of approximately $206 million. WonderFi will use its balance sheet to fund the cash consideration.

Read this next

Executive Moves

Lirunex Limited recruits Waleed Salah as head of MENA sales

Maldives-based brokerage firm Lirunex Limited has secured the services of Waleed Salah, who joined the company in the role of its head of sales for the MENA region.

Executive Moves

Trading 212 parts ways with co-founder Borislav Nedialkov

Trading 212 has a void to fill at its FCA-regulated business in London, following the departure of two key players, Raj Somal and Borislav Nedialkov.

Digital Assets

Binance acquires troubled crypto exchange GOPAX

Binance, the world’s largest digital asset trading platform, has reportedly acquired a majority stake in the troubled South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange GOPAX.

Digital Assets

Kraken exits Middle East, closes UAE office

Digital currency exchange Kraken will close down its operations in Abu Dhabi, UAE and lay off the majority of its team focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

Industry News

CFTC comments on ION Cleared Derivatives issues after Russian-linked hack

“The ongoing issue is impacting some clearing members’ ability to provide the CFTC with timely and accurate data. As this incident unfolded, it became clear that the submission of data that is required by registrants will be delayed until the trading issues are resolved.”

Industry News

FCA took down 14 times more misleading ads in 2022 thanks to technology

The FCA has made significant improvements to the digital tools it uses to find problem firms and misleading adverts. These improvements have enabled it to work through a much larger number of cases compared with 2021.

Executive Moves

HKEX appoints ex-Goldman Sachs Matthew Cheong to lead platform’s focus on derivatives

“He has worked for a number of the world’s leading investment banks and his experience will be invaluable to HKEX as we continue to enhance our derivatives product offerings and build on our innovative and robust platform business, connecting capital with opportunities.”

Digital Assets

Zodia Custody and SBI Digital Asset Holdings launch JV for crypto asset custodian in Japan

“Zodia Custody is both proud and excited to be working with SBI DAH to help set up SBI Zodia Custody; the first tier 1 crypto asset custodian for institutions in Japan.”

Digital Assets

Paxos opens R&D center in Israel to focus on transaction signing and crypto custody security

“Paxos is looking to expand its team in Israel in 2023 and beyond, giving engineers the opportunity to work on cutting-edge financial products and shape the future of the global economy.”

<