Coinbase Wants To Help Companies Follow In Tesla's Footsteps
Choosing to go public through a direct listing as opposed to a traditional IPO, Coinbase revealed in the filing that total revenue surged to $1.2 billion in 2020 from $533 million in 2019. Coinbase also shared that as of the end of last year the platform had 43 million verified users, $456 billion in lifetime trading volume and $90 billion in assets.
"The current financial system is rife with high fees, unequal access, and barriers to innovation,” Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong wrote in the filing. "If the world economy ran on a common set of standards that could not be manipulated by any company or country, the world would be a more fair and free place, and human progress would accelerate."
Coinbase listed countless risk factors such as declining cryptocurrency prices and waning confidence in the space, while also including "the identification of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous person or persons who developed Bitcoin, or the transfer of Satoshi’s Bitcoins" as a risk factor.
While the news of Coinbase's upcoming listing stole headlines, it was a blog post from the day before that was of interest. With companies such as Tesla and MicroStrategy making news for adding bitcoin to their balance sheets, Coinbase's blog post discussed the company's capabilities for corporations looking to follow suit.
Coinbase's Head of Institutional Sales, Trading, Custody and Prime Services Brett Tejpaul wrote that the company has held bitcoin and other crypto assets on its balance sheet since 2012, before adding the company intends to hold them because they "believe strongly in the long-term potential of the cryptoeconomy."
This experience has helped Coinbase develop a solution for corporate companies that are interested in adding and managing digital assets as part of their corporate treasury strategy. Coinbase even put together an FAQ for corporate treasuries looking to explore their "more than white glove service."
"Coinbase has efficiently executed nine and ten figure trades for some of the largest institutions in the world," Tejpaul wrote. "Clients have selected us for our track record in security, sophisticated execution platform, 24/7/365 white glove service, and focus on regulatory compliance."
By sharing its expertise with corporate clients, Coinbase is committed to helping cryptocurrencies grow by creating a digital currency exchange linked to the traditional financial system. Coinbase is looking to share its expertise in areas such as trading and custody, tax and accounting, and even talking points companies can use when adding digital assets to their balance sheets.
"Institutions across the board are building for a future that is protected from new risks; this includes building a diverse balance sheet that is adequately hedged from the traditional capital markets and monetary debasement," Tejpaul wrote. "On the corporate side, use cases for digital assets are expanding rapidly from traditional portfolio management as an investment asset within a diversified portfolio — to accounts receivable/accounts payable, employee payroll, and commerce integration, for example."
As Coinbase nears its debut on the public market, the company's offerings for corporations looking to follow Tesla into adding bitcoin to their balance sheet may prove to be a large part of their business as adoption grows.
Target teams up with Apple. Target announced a partnership with Apple that will see Target emphasize Apple products with twice as much floor space dedicated to Apple products compared to a typical Target store. 17 locations across the U.S. have been selected to be the first to roll out the new shopping experience before more locations roll it out this fall. The collaboration with Apple follows similar partnerships Target has inked with Disney, Ulta Beauty and Levi Strauss & Co. "Apple products are popular with Target's guests, and this new, dedicated shopping experience offers enhanced service and expanded offerings, building on our strength as a go-to destination for electronics," Target chief growth officer Christina Hennington said.
Art lending surges. Art advisory and finance firm The Fine Art Group said loan requests to borrow against art jumped by 30% last year. Bank of America, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, which are all big players in the art lending business, reportedly also saw strong demand last year. "A lot of our clients are entrepreneurs, and they use leverage across their businesses and personally," The Fine Art Group CEO of art finance Freya Stewart said. "They have a lot of valuable capital tied up in their art collections and they want to release that capital for other uses." Sotheby's Financial Services executive chairman Alex Klabin believes the potential market for art loans could be more than $400 billion compared to its current value of only about $20 billion.
Fanatics makes move into China. Fanatics, the world's largest licensed sports merchandise retailer, announced a joint venture with Hillhouse Capital Group that will enable the company to expand into China. The 50-50 JV will see operations such as product design, sourcing and licensing based in Shanghai as Fanatics attempts to diversify outside of the U.S., which accounts for 90% of its sales. "China has been a market we followed for a while, and we've been meeting with multiple partners in China trying to figure out how we approach it in the best way," Fanatics head of international corporate development Zohar Ravid told Reuters. "The interest overall in the country around European football, and American sports, is growing."
PepsiCo launches new cocktail mixer. PepsiCo announced the launch of Neon Zebra, a new line of non-alcoholic cocktail mixers, as the company makes a move into the cocktail mixer category. Made with real juice and no artificial sweeteners, the line comes in flavors Margarita Mix, Strawberry Daiquiri Mix, Mojito Mix and Whiskey Sour Mix. "With at-home cocktail consumption on the rise, we saw an opportunity to build and disrupt this fast-growing category with a product that meets consumers' needs for convenience - to cut out time and mess without compromising on quality and taste," PepsiCo Beverages North America VP of Innovation & Capabilities Emily Silver said.
Spotify adds mood filters. Spotify announced it has added a new feature that will let users sort their "Liked Songs" collection through 15 personalized mood and genre categories. The genre and mood filters will update based on changes users make to their library. The new feature will be available in the coming weeks to Free and Premium users on Android and iOS devices in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.