As Coinbase seeks to make more acquisitions, the popular U.S. cryptocurrency exchange has hired LinkedIn’s former VP of Corporate Development. Emilie Choi took the helm as Coinbase’s new VP of Corporate and Business Development on Monday (March 5), Fortune reported.
While at LinkedIn, Choi was involved in more than 40 acquisitions, such as the company’s $1.5 billion purchase of Lynda in 2015.
“If you ask anyone in [Silicon] Valley, she is absolutely top of her field in business development,” Coinbase’s COO Asiff Hirji told Fortune. “Given how rapidly the [cryptocurrency] space is unfolding, given the breadth of opportunities in front of Coinbase, we feel very fortunate having someone like Emilie with us and helping us figure out how to get those deals done.”
As Coinbase is considering “quite a number” of acquisitions, Choi will evaluate deals in the pipeline and look for new targets. Some companies could be acquired primarily to gain employees, but the deals will run the gamut “all the way through to tuck in acquisitions in the middle and large-scale acquisitions,” according to Hirji.
The news comes as 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, however, its valuation has probably at least doubled since it was last valued at $1.6 billion in August 2017.
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. There’s a problem, however: After Coinbase raised $100 million just six months ago, company insiders predict the company might not fundraise again before it inevitably goes public.