Stacked Raises $ 35 Million to Offer Passive Investment Tools to Retail Cryptocurrency Traders – TechCrunch

Stacked, a web-based platform that provides passive investing tools to retail investors interested in crypto, just announced that it has raised a $ 35 million Series A co-led by Alameda Research, a company trading platform owned by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

Bybit and BitDAO partner Mirana Ventures co-led the cycle alongside Alameda. Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, DRW Venture Capital, Alumni Ventures and Jump Capital also participated.

The Chicago-based company, which launched in April 2020, raised a $ 1 million funding round in September 2020. The latest round brings its total funding to “just under $ 40 million,” said Co-founder and CEO Joel Birch told TechCrunch in an interview. .

It plans to use the funds to double its employee base to 40 people over the next six to eight months and invest in user acquisition, growth and marketing. Until this fundraiser, Stacked had developed its business without formal marketing expenses, he added.

Stacked automated more than $ 10 billion in transactions for tens of thousands of new investors in 2021, per company. This Also obtained Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) status with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) this summer to expand its product offering, the company told TechCrunch.

“In the very near future, we will continue to evolve our platform away from strategy automation and give people this easy investment platform by actually offering structured products like risk-adjusted portfolios. and providing organized investment advice to individuals based on their risk tolerance. “said Bouleau.

Although the SEC has yet to approve a crypto ETF for trading in the United States, products such as Grayscale’s trusts have become popular with investors seeking exposure to the price of the asset class. . Birch said Stacked’s product differs from this type of product in that it is available to all retail investors, whether accredited or not, and allows users to retain custody of their digital assets.

Stacked, which acts as a layer on top of a user’s existing crypto brokerage account, offers a range of predefined wallets that it calls “stacks” based on a risk score it assigns to each user. after performing a suitability assessment. It partners with “a handful of the world’s most reputable exchanges,” including Coinbase, FTX, and Binance, through Birch.

Its core product is currently free and allows users to manage wallets on multiple crypto exchanges, automatically rebalance and compose their wallets, and lend cryptocurrency through the FTX exchange, he added. .

Stacked makes money by charging a percentage on trades in its two-sided open market, which sells automated trading strategies, according to Birch. Investors use the exchange to buy strategies designed by traders and influencers well known in the crypto space.

Stacked co-founders Joel Birch and Stephen Beavis. Image credits: Stacked

In the “next few weeks,” the company plans to release a feature that will allow users to copy any “stack” as a template and customize it by making direct edits, Birch said.

Exchanges are interested in supporting Stacked as its users tend to stay active on these exchanges longer than average, he added.

“I just think you’ll see more of it in the crypto ecosystem – exchanges acting as infrastructure rails,” Birch said. “They have great custody solutions, liquidity, security, all of those very complicated things. But the user experience is generally pretty straightforward, and it’s a pretty technical product, so I think you’ll see tons of products continue to be built on the infrastructure that exchanges build.

Birch first heard about bitcoin in 2015 while working at Grubhub, where he spent nearly five years leading restaurant growth. Once a homeless immigrant, Birch got his start as an entrepreneur starting a dropshipping business at the age of 17. A self-proclaimed “tech nerd”, he dropped out of college three times before completing his bachelor’s degree to explore his interest in starting an internet business. .

“From 2012 to 2013, we saw significant funding [for startups] and saw [Silicon] Valley, is really starting to materialize, ”Birch said. “So I started looking for a place where I could move to work for a startup. I wanted to fit into the tech ecosystem, that way I could one day be a tech founder myself.

He applied for jobs at startups in Chicago and landed at Grubhub when it had only 13 employees. At Grubhub he was surrounded by engineers, data scientists and business operations professionals who supported and mentored him.

Once he heard about bitcoin, he started working on business ideas in space and connected with Stacked co-founder Stephen Beavis. According to Birch, “the rest is history”,

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