The cryptocurrency brokerage Voyager that was founded and run by Uber and E*Trade alums announced today that it is going public next week on the TSX.V, the venture component of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The deal was the result of a reverse merger with UC Resources Ltd., a mineral exploration company shuttered in 2015. It’s an all-stock deal valued at $60 million and will be complete by Monday at which point Voyager will begin trading live on the TSX.V.
“We are proud to be the only publicly listed agency crypto broker,” said Steve Capone, Chief Marketing Officer for Voyager. “This milestone unlocks growth for our shareholders and the crypto community as a whole. We now have a public currency to help breed new possibilities and partnerships for Voyager.”
Voyager plans to provide zero-commission crypto trading to retail investors and to allow retail and institutional clients to buy and sell crypto across multiple exchanges from a single app.
The company has already raised $7 million from investors across multiple private rounds which began in May. The final round valued the company at $60 million.
Voyager founders include Stephen Ehrlich and Oscar Salazar. Ehrlich was the CEO of online brokerage Lightspeed Financial and previously ran the professional trading arm of E*Trade. Salazar was the founding architect and CTO of Uber.
The stock offering will be an important step forward for the company as it offers the benefit of access to traditional equity as a purchasing tool. Shares can serve as a means for Voyager to acquire other companies in the cryptocurrency ecosystem to enhance its own business and build better infrastructure for the whole sector.
As a publicly traded company, Voyager must additionally make quarterly disclosures of its financials and comply with Canadian security regulations. As a result of these requirements, Voyager will need to comply with a much higher standard for transparency and accountability compared to other cryptocurrency companies, something that will build trust among investors.
Voyager is offering users a mobile app that allows access to multiple cryptocurrency exchanges markets simultaneously, something no other mobile app does. The goal is not only to provide easy access to a fragmented network of different exchanges but also to provide price improvements on orders.
Voyager doesn’t charge commissions on these orders, despite providing a one-of-a-kind tool. Instead, Voyager makes money when it is able to execute orders at prices better than at the time the order was submitted. Voyager doesn’t guarantee these better prices, but it does promise zero commission fees.
The platform is currently beta-testing, but Voyager plans to go live at the end of this month. Retail customers will be offered $15 in Bitcoin to sign up early for the platform, although the waiting list is already in the six-figures. While Voyager must compete with established platforms like Coinbase and Robinhood, it offers services and benefits that no other company in the sector offers.
Ehrlich said a number of institutional brokers have registered to use the Voyager API to provide cryptocurrency access to their customers. As well, Voyager hired a former executive at Deutsche Bank and Barclays to expand Voyager’s traction with institutional clients.
Voyager has currently integrated 10 exchanges and market makers to its order routing service and is currently talking with more than 20 potential additions. Voyager also obtained money transmission licenses in 10 U.S states with applications in another 30.
Beyond the key benefits that Voyager offers its clients and customers, Voyager provides a key piece of infrastructure that benefits the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem. Cryptocurrency markets suffer from the lack of interoperability between various exchanges. This limits liquidity to the open orders on any given platform. When orders run out on any given exchange there are currently no tools to route orders to liquidity pools on other exchanges. By providing a method to collect cross-exchange liquidity, Voyager is contributing to making the cryptocurrency ecosystem more robust and anti-fragile. It marks another bright point of continued innovation in the cryptocurrency sector and one step forward to building a more mature market and ecosystem.