The Las Vegas company is going into build mode, bear market be damned.
Crypto infrastructure company Prime Trust said Wednesday it raised $107 million in Series B funding as it looks to broaden its product categories, including crypto retirement products and asset tokenization.
The Las Vegas company has already forged a handful of deals that bring crypto to retirement investors, most notably via Swan Bitcoin’s bitcoin IRA. With more competitors including Fidelity making access to crypto retirement investing easier, Prime Trust’s effort is slated to accelerate with its bear market cash in hand.
CFO Rodrigo Vicuna declined to comment on the company’s valuation. He said the round has been in the works since late last year; some late-stage stragglers might even write checks in the next month or so. Prime Trust last raised $65 million in its July 2021 Series A.
The Series B comes as markets lurch into what may likely be a bona-fide recession, crypto’s first. Sluggish user growth has forced other companies to pare back their spending or even slash headcount, making Prime Trust’s plan – grow, invest, hire – a little jarring.
Vicuna offered the tired adage of bear markets being high time to build. When asked if Prime Trust was stocking an acquisition war chest a la FTX, he demurred: “As a CFO, you can never say no to” the right opportunity.
“This is really a strategic investment to build out the critical infrastructure that helps us scale for our clients,” he said.
Prime Trust works behind the scenes to help customer-facing companies like crypto exchanges and NFT marketplaces move and store their assets.
What constitutes a moveable, storable crypto asset is growing, according to Vicuna. He said the company is anticipating a surge in tokenized assets: things like securities, real estate, NFTs that can be represented and transferred across chains.
“The bulge-bracket banks really see this as the future and so we’re building out” tokenized asset capabilities, Vicuna said. ”Really dynamic custodians can look at assets and say, ‘Yeah, we can safeguard that.’”
Prime Trust has been thinking about tokenized securities since at least its 2018 acquisition of the equity crowdfunding platform FundAmerca. Prime Trust has pitched it as an on-ramp and distribution vehicle for cash-hungry companies looking to access better liquidity for the trading of their private shares. It’s facilitated $3 billion in capital raises, according to the website.
“It’s a smaller part of the business that we think will be more meaningful,” Vicuna said.