As a Venture Studio that believes in radically transforming the way our species lives and operates through blockchain and other disruptive technologies. We invest in projects we believe in and use our expertise and know-how to develop them further, help them grow, and prepare them for potential mass adoption.
While the vast majority of our investments perform very well, some shatter even our expectations, as the products and services produced by the underlying firm achieve extraordinary uptake and help define the industry as a whole.
Our investment in Coinbase is one such example, with the platform becoming what many would describe as a crypto phenomenon, thanks to its nothing short of meteoric growth — both in terms of adoption and market valuation.
Why We Invested
At Master Ventures, we pride ourselves on our ability to spot trends well before they become mainstream. This capacity has helped us secure investments in some of the industry’s most transformative projects and platforms during their earliest stages of development — including the likes of Circle, Bitfinex, and Ripple.
Our early investment in Coinbase stands out as one of the best demonstrators of the robustness and efficacy of our due diligence processes. At a time when the cryptocurrency industry was still in its infancy, we carefully scrutinized what many would have considered being a high-risk investment opportunity at the time — a seed-stage investment in the daring new cryptocurrency exchange platform known as Coinbase.
After applying careful fundamental analysis, analyzing the risk to reward ratio, and examining the experience and capabilities of the founding team, we quickly determined that a seed-stage investment in Coinbase was a no-brainer. After all, we truly believed in the disruptive potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, and quickly recognized the potential for Coinbase to not only deliver cryptocurrencies to the masses, but also help move the needle forward in terms of regulatory clarity, security, and the legitimization of digital assets.
Indeed, our projections came to fruition, while Coinbase exceeded our expectations with how deftly and efficiently it grew its business operations and became a forerunner in bridging the gap between the emerging crypto market and its relationship with traditional finance and international commerce.
Since then, Coinbase has dramatically expanded the range of products and services it offers and has forged partnerships with major global corporations, including Overstock, Dell, Expedia, Dish Network, and Time Inc (to name a few), helping these organizations and hundreds more begin accepting Bitcoin payments essentially — catapulting cryptocurrency interest into the mainstream.
To this day, our seed round investment in Coinbase stands out as not only one of our highest-yielding investments yet, but one of the best returns ever seen in the crypto industry as a whole. Based on its current market valuation ($64 billion), seed stage investors that held onto their equity until today would have secured a more than 1,600,000% return on their investment.
Are we still holding? Yes. Why? Because we strongly believe that the journey is still just beginning for Coinbase — with far more potential growth still yet to come. Although it is true that a return of 1,600x is certainly impressive, our models indicate Coinbase is likely to continue its upwards trajectory. This is a view shared by many, including the Bank of America, and many of its other early-stage investors, who believe that the path ahead is very promising.
The success of the platform has helped it reach market valuations of more than $100 billion and has helped capture the interest of major funds and CompuTech heavyweights, including Intel Corporation — which recently unveiled its holding of 3,014 COIN shares. The monumental interest in the stock helped catapult it to a peak of more than 70% above the pre-IPO reference price ($250).
“Part of the reason behind our success is not only our ability to recognize potentially lucrative investment opportunities early, but also our carefully planned exit strategies — which ensure Master Ventures is able to maximize the return on its investments,” said Master Ventures CEO Kyle Chasse.
For us, Coinbase is an example of a company that has already played a key role in shaping the industry, while setting its sights on further disrupting the space. In line with this, its role as a key player in driving crypto adoption cannot be disputed.
The Powerhouse of the Cryptosphere
Coinbase was founded by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehshem in 2012, and since its inception, it has gained recognition as a juggernaut in the cryptocurrency industry. It has also become a household name, serving as the standard on-ramp that many newcomers choose when first acquiring digital assets and entering the cryptosphere.
The platform initially began as a place where users could only buy and sell Bitcoin; but quickly evolved to include many other cryptocurrencies and digital asset options, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and XRP. Today, Coinbase also offers a massive array of additional services, including a robust trading platform called Coinbase Pro, institutional cold storage solutions, an API service that enables developers and merchants to accept payments in digital currencies, a cryptocurrency debit card that allows users to spend crypto directly, and an incentivized learning scheme that rewards users for learning more about cryptocurrencies.
Popularly known by the slogan “The easiest place to buy and sell a cryptocurrency,” Coinbase has gained mass popularity over the years among individuals and businesses alike. Today the platform has approximately 68 million verified users, facilitates services for over 9,000 institutions, and has an ecosystem made up of 160,000 partners spread across 100 countries. These impressive stats combined with the incredible growth of the platform over the last nine years have helped Coinbase earn the status of being the first crypto unicorn.
Despite its already incredible success, we firmly believe that Coinbase will continue to be a key force for good in shaping the crypto industry and the surrounding regulatory landscape, and will continue to support the team and their future ambitions.
Coinbase is building the crypto economy — a more fair, accessible, efficient, and transparent financial system enabled by crypto. The company started in 2012 with the radical idea that anyone, anywhere, should be able to easily and securely send and receive Bitcoin. Today, Coinbase offers a trusted and easy-to-use platform for accessing the broader crypto economy.
About Master Ventures
Master Ventures is a blockchain-focused venture studio, helping to build the next generation of blockchain-based Web 3.0 system innovations within the crypto industry. Launched in 2018 by Founder and CEO Kyle Chassé, the company’s ethos can best be summarized in the acronym #BeBOLD: Benevolent, Open, Love, Decentralized.
Master Ventures co-creates with entrepreneurs and businesses worldwide to turn the best ideas into innovative and disruptive products and solutions. They do this by investing as strategic partners through offering advisory services to the projects they believe in. To date, Master Ventures has invested in over 40 crypto projects including the likes of Kraken, Coinbase, Bitfinex, Reef, DAO Maker, Mantra DAO, Thorchain, and Elrond.
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