Accredited investors are scrambling to acquire pre-IPO ownership in emerging cryptocurrency unicorns such as Kraken, BlockFi, and Dapper Labs, according to Linqto, a business that acquires equity in nascent technology companies before they go public that also sells Ripple Stock.
However, out of a crypto-heavy basket of unlisted business shares, Linqto customers are most interested in Ripple Labs, the developer of the XRP coin.
“Rather than acting as a broker, we put our money up front and purchase pre-IPO tech company shares from early founders, investors, and employees who need to liquidate their holdings for whatever reason – whether it’s to buy a house or send a child to college,” Linqto Director of Digital Asset Sales Nick Burrafato explained in an interview. “We also maintain a share of each investment we make until the business is sold.”
Perhaps it’s unsurprising that there is such a high demand for private equity in crypto startups in light of events like Coinbase’s massive direct IPO last year.
According to Burrafato, Coinbase stock was trading at $32 per share on the Lingto platform only nine months before it listed for more than $350.
Ripple Stock Sales among others
Since Linqto’s introduction two years ago, Burrafato added, more than $50 million in private equity in Ripple Labs has been sold. And this is despite the crypto firm’s legal battles with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States (SEC).
Ripple has long expressed its desire to go public. CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in January 2020 that an IPO was a “logical step” for the firm, implying that a listing may occur later that year. Following the SEC’s December 2020 action against Ripple Labs, he subsequently said that the business will wait until the matter was addressed before going public.
“We began selling Ripple shares well before the SEC investigation,” Burrafato said. “Many of our members held digital assets, and as a result of the SEC lawsuit, they decided they wanted a portion in Ripple stock in addition to XRP.”
Linqto has a long-standing arrangement with the Uphold trading platform that enables customers to pay for private equity using cryptocurrencies, including XRP, which has a strong presence on Uphold.
“Uphold has a large number of users that are XRP Army members, if you will, so there is an affinity,” Uphold Chief Revenue Officer Robin O’Connell said in an interview.