Bakkt raises $300 million

The sum takes Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-backed Bakkt's total funds raised to almost $500 million

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ICE's Bakkt raises $300 million

New York state-based digital asset services startup Bakkt has raised $300 million of capital from big names including Microsoft venture capital firm M12 and fintech PayU of the Netherlands.

The sum takes Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-backed Bakkt’s total funds raised to almost $500 million.

Among the participants in the latest funding round were New York Stock Exchange owner ICE, Boston Consulting Group, Goldfinch Partners, CMT Digital and Pantera Capital.

Bakkt says it unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. 

Launched in 2018 by ICE, Bakkt is working with organisations such as BCG, Microsoft and Starbucks to create an integrated platform that enables consumers and institutions to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets on a seamless global network.

Initially targeted at institutional investments and bitcoin futures and options contracts, Bakkt is planning to launch a consumer app later this year that chief executive officer Mike Blandina said would “unlock nearly $1 trillion of digital assets”.

Bakkt has used part of the new funding to acquire Bridge2 Solutions from ICE, which bought the provider of loyalty solutions for merchants and consumers earlier this year.

With the new funding and acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, Bakkt is now a team of 350 employees and powers the loyalty redemption programmes seven financial institutions and more than 4,500 loyalty and incentive programmes, including two of the largest US airlines.

Blandina said: “We have the unique opportunity to leverage the technology, infrastructure and partners across our businesses to bring innovative new products to market and in doing so expand access to the global economy.”