While crypto markets remain in a state of flux, as the world deals with the ongoing effects of COVID-19, there is one company trucking along, un-phased. Bakkt, the popular digital asset service provider, has announced the successful completion of their Series B.
This event saw the company bring in a total of $300 million from a variety of investors. This brings their total raised, to date, to nearly $500 million between each of their raises.
In the process of raising such a hefty sum, Bakkt saw the participation of a variety of companies in their Series B. The following is a list of companies which saw/see the promise of Bakkt, and decided to align their goals with the young outfit.
- CMT Digital
- Pantera Capital
- Goldfinch Partners
- Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)
- Boston Consulting Group
If these names ring a bell, this may be, in part, due to their participation in Bakkt’s initial Series A. With a second investment by multiple companies, it would appear that Bakkt has managed to make a good impression on all involved, as they have navigated a tumultuous market through their lifespan.
The Bakkt consumer app, which is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2020, is more than simply another wallet for holding digital assets. The app brings with it multiple features that allow it to stand apart from the pack, and entice mainstream adoption.
Bakkt has stated that the app will be based upon 4 main features which allow for its user to:
- Aggregate a variety of assets which range from crypto, to cash, loyalty points, and even in-game rewards
- Seamlessly convert each/any of these assets to Bitcoin, cash, and more
- Trade supported crypto assets securely within the app
- Payments through the app, or through use of a ‘Bakkt Card’.
For many, their wallets are full of loyalty cards; Cards which have unused loyalty points. Unsure of what to use those air miles on? Simply link them with the Bakkt App, and utilize them in any manner you see fit through the listed features above.
Essentially, what the Bakkt app does is maximize the efficiency and flexibility of loyalty programs and digital assets, while providing an outlet for their redemption and use.
Upon announcing today’s news, Bakkt CEO, Mike Blandina, took the time to share his excitement. The following statement touched on the scope of what the company has achieved in their 2 years since launch.
Mike Blandina states,
“I’m excited at our potential to unlock nearly $1 trillion of digital assets when the Bakkt app launches this summer. With the completion of our Series B financing and recent acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, Bakkt is now a team of 350 employees and powers the loyalty redemption programs for 7 of the top 10 financial institutions and over 4,500 loyalty and incentive programs including two of the largest US airlines. We have the unique opportunity to leverage the technology, infrastructure and partners across our businesses to bring innovative new products to market and in doing so expand access to the global economy.”
CPO to CEO
Despite only launching 2 years ago, and widely being deemed a success thus far, Bakkt has already seen a change of guards atop the company. This change was the recent promotion of Mike Blandina from CPO to CEO.
It is important to note however, that the exit of Kelly Loeffler was not due to inadequacies in performance, but rather an opportunity that could not be passed up – a seat on the United States Senate.
This opportunity for Mike Blandina was not simply a stroke of luck. Upon his promotion, Bakkt mother company, ICE, noted his vast experience as a major boon.
ICE CEO, Jeffrey Sprecher, stated,
“As CEO, Mike will chart Bakkt’s strategic direction, payment products and markets, as well as overseeing the regulatory and financial performance of the company…His more than 25 years of experience in payments across product, engineering, strategy and operations will continue to serve us well.”
Beacon of Hope
When Bakkt first launched in 2018, it was during a dark time in the world of crypto/blockchain. The entire industry was in the midst of what became known as ‘crypto winter’. Their entrance into the sector was much heralded, and represented a beacon of hope for things to come in the months leading up to launch.
Fast forward to 2020, and Bakkt is once again providing a glimmer of hope for the future through their highly anticipated consumer app. This hope is perhaps needed more than ever, as uncertainty surrounds, not just crypto and blockchain endeavours, but the overall stock market; Uncertainty which appears poised to remain while markets deal with the global pandemic of COVID-19.
Major advancements by a major company, being made in the dark times of a suppressed market. Let’s hope that this summer’s release of the consumer app exceeds already high expectations.
Founded in 2018, Bakkt is a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange, operating out of Atlanta, Georgia. Above all, the team at Bakkt are working to develop solutions surrounding digital assets. These solutions range from futures contracts, to the upcoming consumer app, and more.
CEO, Mike Blandina, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
While the motive of each company is different, Bakkt shares their successful raise with various others to do the same in recent months. The following articles detail a few of these events, which saw promising companies bring in millions in investments, ranging from 5M to $200M.