Business

Messari raises $35 million to expand ‘Bloomberg in crypto’ ambitions

Not bad for a two bit idiot. The “idiot” in question is Ryan Selkis, who uses tongue-in-cheek mockery for his popularity Twitter accountand is the one who just raised a $35 million Series B round for Messari, the crypto data company he founded in 2018.

The funding round, led by Brevan Howard Digital, reflects the growing popularity of Messari, one of the few companies that has made the transformation of blockchain data into standardized reports. Selkis likens Messari to the cryptocurrency version of Bloomberg, a huge data and financial news site.

While Messari’s collection of charts and reports provides investors with a clearer picture of the crypto landscape, Selkis also sees the service as the foundation for a future era where software The company’s current reporting and compliance regime will become unnecessary.

According to Selkis, the transparent nature of blockchain means that data on things like insider sales and governance decisions are visible to everyone – meaning that investors will one day not It also requires a central government agency like the SEC to compile and publish company data.

“If we can demonstrate that anyone can review a protocol and come up with financial criteria for these blockchains, that would alleviate the need for centralized reporting. And there’s no reason blockchains can’t offer the same for public stocks,” Selkis said. Luck.

But while blockchain-based projects can provide a level of transparency that traditional companies do not, very few are able to analyze raw blockchain data. Meanwhile, most projects are not equipped to package their data into a standardized reporting format.

This situation has allowed Messari to build a two-sided business in which it sells subscriptions to investors while also charging blockchain protocols to compile and package their data. Selkis declined to provide specific Messari revenue figures, but said the company has 35 to 40 blockchain projects, including familiar names like Uniswap, Compound, and Solana. He added that he believes Messari is the largest crypto subscription by revenue.

Messari’s competitors include Unita crypto news website that also has a significant research divide.

The emerging business of standardization may seem like an attractive opportunity for established financial giants, but Selkis isn’t worried about competition from the likes of Bloomberg or JPMorgan.

“If you can’t outshine incumbents, you deserve to be out of business,” Selkis said, adding that incumbents often retreat from crypto investing during a downturn – a time when he said it was ripe to invest.

New products, new politics

Messari, which also raised $21 million in a Series A round in 2021, intends to direct much of the new funding round into expanding its forensic and analytical services. The new round also coincides with the launch of new products that will help investors compare crypto assets across multiple networks and to create custom data sets.

Other Series B investors include Morgan Creek Digital and FTX Ventures, as well as existing investors Point72 Ventures, Kraken Ventures, Uncork Capital, Underscore VC, Galaxy and Coinbase Joint venture companies.

The new products and investments will help Messari achieve its goal of developing a cryptocurrency equivalent to GAAP-style standard reporting for the crypto industry, Selkis said.

Meanwhile, Selkis continued to voice support for reforms to US governance and the country’s broader political system.

In this Two Bit goofy character, he often goes against “Goldman Gary” – this tribute to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, who Selkis argues is actively hostile to the crypto industry and its followers. whose political ambitions led him to deal with the industry in an unkind manner.

His political articles also include lamentations that the United States has become an aging regime where political leaders in their 80s refuse to cede power or ideas to the next generation. young.

Selkis, who has always hinted at his own national political ambitions, admits he may need to “remove the rough edges of his tweets” but in essence he’s not remorseful. sorry about the content of his tweets.

Currently, Selkis is focusing on building Messari as the so-called “crypto winter”. Having worked in the crypto space for more than a decade through multiple downturns, Selkis said that he is not alarmed by the current drop, although he does note that it differs from previous ones in that this is the first “winter” to coincide with macroeconomic fluctuations.

Messari’s funding announcement coincided with Mainnet, an annual New York City crypto conference that spawned Selkis that has become an industry leading event. This year’s speakers include the CEOs of Binance and Coinbase as well as the inventor of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin.

When asked if he has advice for people who would be crypto founders, Selkis gave a wise answer.

“Wear a helmet,” he said.

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