While many companies are clamoring for investors, Coinbase is having the opposite problem: It has so many people lining up to invest, it is actually turning them away.
Recode reported that the world's largest bitcoin trading broker made $1 billion in revenue last year, boosted by the fever pitch over bitcoin and other virtual currencies that users can buy and sell through the Coinbase app. Last May, Coinbase announced it suffered outages when the bitcoin exchange saw “unprecedented traffic and trading,” as the digital currency hit record levels.
Coinbase was only expected to do about $600 million in yearly revenue. By hitting the $1 billion mark, its valuation has probably at least doubled since it was last valued at $1.6 billion in August.
With all of this success, it should come as no surprise that a large number of outside investors have expressed interest in owning a piece of the company. The problem: After raising $100 million just six months ago, some company insiders are predicting that Coinbase might never fundraise again before it inevitably goes public.
That has led many outside investors to approach shareholders about selling their shares. Unfortunately for them, Coinbase simply won't allow it.
“As a private company, Coinbase does not allow trading of stock on secondary markets for a variety of reasons, including the fact that there is not full and equal information available to the market,” the company said in a statement. “We will take appropriate action if we find people have sold Coinbase shares in violation of our agreements not to do so.”
There is hope that in the near future Coinbase will launch a tender offer, allowing all existing shareholders to sell their stock to a new investor at the same time. Some investors believe the company could authorize a tender offer later this year.