Google’s parent company Alphabet is taking another step into the world of crypto by joining a new funding round for Digital Currency Group (DCG), the owner of Grayscale Investments, which increased DCGs market valuation to USD 10bn.
The funding round, which was led by the major Japanese venture firm SoftBank, brought in USD 700m for the privately held firm, making it the second-largest in the crypto sector to date, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, Alphabet’s investment in DCG totaled about USD 100m, and was done through its CapitalG, a venture capital fund with USD 3bn under management.
Commenting on the funding round during an interview, Barry Silbert, founder & CEO of DCG, said the funding round was not to raise money, but rather to allow some early investors to exit and take profit.
For Google, the stake in DCG represents its first step into a crypto-native company, with CapitalG’s general partner David Lawee telling the Wall Street Journal that he sees similarities between internet companies during the dot-com boom and crypto companies today. However, he also mentioned that there are signs that crypto has staying power, while mentioning decentralized finance (DeFi) as an interesting field.
“This is finally getting to the point where crypto is a broader thing than just bitcoin,” Lawee was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
In addition to investing in DCG, however, Google has already dipped its toe into the world of crypto through an earlier investment in Robinhood, the popular US trading app that lets users trade a selection of cryptoassets, in addition to traditional financial instruments like stocks and options.