Crypto lender Babel Finance valued at $2 billion after latest fundraising

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Representations of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dash plunge into water in this illustration taken, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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May 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based Babel Finance said on Wednesday it had raised $80 million in a new funding round that valued the cryptocurrency lender and asset manager at $2 billion.

Investors who participated in the Series B financing round include Jeneration Capital, Circle Ventures and 10T Holdings, joined by existing backers Dragonfly Capital and BAI Capital.

A number of family offices in the Asia-Pacific regions joined the round as well, Babel said.

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The firm had raised $40 million in its previous round, a year earlier. read more

Babel, whose major businesses are crypto lending and trading, limits itself to bitcoin, ethereum and stablecoins, it said. The firm has a clientele of 500 customers and had ended last year with $3 billion of loan balances on its balance sheet.

"The crypto financial market is full of opportunities and hidden risks," co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Del Wang said, adding that Babel is focused on the long-term development of the crypto industry instead of short-term profits.

The firm said it has applied for business licenses in Hong Kong, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, among others.

Babel's latest capital raise follows a punishing slide in the value of cryptocurrencies in recent weeks, with bitcoin losing more than a third of its value in two months. read more

Investors, however, seem unfazed by the market rout and are seeing potential opportunities in the industry. Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz raised $4.5 billion for its fourth crypto fund on Wednesday and said it intends to invest in Web3 startups. read more

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Reporting by Manya Saini and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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