Elwood Technologies, an institutional crypto asset trading platform founded by billionaire British hedge fund manager Alan Howard, today announced a new funding round co-led by Goldman Sachs and Dawn Capital.
The Series A round was joined by the crypto-friendly German bank Commerzbank, Galaxy Digital Ventures, BlockFi Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Flow Traders and British multinational bank Barclays. According to a report in the Financial Times, the funding round brought Elwood’s valuation to $500 million.
Elwood was founded in 2018 to provide a vehicle for traditional financial institutions to access crypto-native digital assets by bridging the gap in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It does so by providing secure exposure to crypto for traditional finance with a broad range of reporting and analytics.
The company’s platform is similar to Bloomberg’s terminal or BlackRock’s Aladdin portfolio system. It can plug into the existing trading software running at a traditional financial institution and allow them to manage their existing crypto portfolio in a manner that they are already familiar with.
In February, Elwood partnered with Bloomberg, which connected its software with its U.S. order management portfolio management system, allowing investors to order and trade crypto assets.
“We have entered a new chapter in Elwood’s journey and continue to expand our capabilities, enabling our institutional clients to provide their users with improved access to digital assets,” said James Stickland, chief executive of Elwood Technologies.
This new funding for Elwood comes when crypto markets have suffered extreme volatility and the total market has lost about 15% of its value since May 9, according to CoinMarketCap. The major cryptocurrency Bitcoin also slid below $30,000, its lowest value since July 2021. However, the financing was already agreed to before the downturn.
Stickland called the new funds “another validation of the longevity of crypto” in spite of the market drop. He noted that financial institutions aren’t looking for instant gratification.
“They’re investing in the infrastructure,” he said. “I think it’s a reassurance message.”
Mathew McDermott, global head of digital assets at Goldman Sachs, echoed Stickland’s sentiment about the demand for crypto assets in traditional finance.
“As institutional demand for cryptocurrency rises, we have been actively broadening our market presence and capabilities to cater for client demand,” said McDermott. “Our investment in Elwood demonstrates our continued commitment to digital assets and we look forward to partnering to expand our capabilities.”
According to Stickland, Elwood’s infrastructure has been perfected over three years and is already being used by multiple financial technology firms and asset managers and other clients. With this new funding, the company will expand its mass-market involvement, add new products and fuel international growth.