The Hong Kong-based crypto trading and technology firm Amber Group is considering going public through a direct listing in the US as early as next year, according to its founder & CEO, Michael Wu.
Wu told the South China Morning Post that a direct listing is “definitely on the table probably next year or the year after” and that “The US is a likely destination, but we’re open-minded.”
The four-year-old company, which also offers crypto-based lending and borrowing services, is managing USD 1.5bn in digital assets.
According to Wu, the firm is not looking to go public merely to “let some people cash out” their early investments, but rather to raise brand awareness, lower the cost of borrowing, as well as to more easily attract talent. In a direct listing, a company sells its existing shares directly to the investors.
Also, the CEO admitted that the US, when it comes to crypto regulation, has taken “a more conservative approach than regulators in [Asia] or elsewhere.” The company will not offer lending products if it does not get the green light from regulators, Wu said, noting that “most of our businesses are elsewhere,” and that “we’ll evaluate case by case” in each jurisdiction.
As reported, US-based major crypto exchange Coinbase said this week that they decided not to launch the USDC APY program as the company continues its “work to seek regulatory clarity for the crypto industry as a whole.”
Meanwhile, in June this year, Amber Group became another crypto unicorn – the term used for a company that reaches a USD 1bn valuation before going public – after it raised USD 100m in a Series B funding round led by China Renaissance, with participation from many other well-known names in the space.
Founded in 2017 by a group of quantitative traders from Morgan Stanley, Amber Group offers both institutions and retail investors principal algorithmic trading, electronic market-making, high-frequency trading, over-the-counter trading, borrowing and lending, derivatives, and other structured products.
The company claims it has more than 100,000 registered users of its Amber App, launched in Q3 2020.
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