(Reuters) – Crypto exchange Binance.US said on Wednesday it had raised more than $200 million in a seed funding round at a pre-money valuation of $4.5 billion.
Launched in 2019, the company is operated by BAM Trading services, the U.S. partner of Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trading volume. Binance.US and Binance have a licensing agreement but operate as separate legal entities.
Binance.US said RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck and Circle Ventures were among the investors that participated in the fundraise, which was its first external funding round.
It added that the funds would be used to invest in its spot trading platform and toward the development of new products and services.
Last month, Binance rejected calls for a blanket ban on all Russian users after Moscow invaded Ukraine.
Its decision last month to stay in Russia, which was a divergence from mainstream finance firms such as PayPal Holdings Ltd and Visa Inc, had irked the Ukrainian government.
Binance has also been trying to deepen links with the United Arab Emirates as the country tries to style itself as the world’s new digital assets hub.
The crypto industry continues to face the wrath of regulators internationally, who worry about how a meltdown in crypto assets, seen as highly volatile and opaque, will feed into the wider financial sector, leading to a global push for more regulation.
(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Amy Caren Daniel)