Backed by Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary, WonderFi set to acquire Canadian exchange Coinberry
Kevin O'Leary-backed WonderFi Technologies Inc will acquire the Canada-based Coinberry exchange in a $38.5 million all-share deal
By Shashank Bhardwaj
WonderFi Technologies Inc, the Vancouver-based decentralised platform, is set to acquire the Toronto-based digital asset trading exchange, Coinberry, for $38.5 million in the next phase of its consolidation strategy. WonderFi aims to position itself as a market consolidator and target crypto exchanges with Canadian licenses.
WonderFi’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Ben Samaroo, said that the Coinberry deal would place WonderFi as a Canadian consolidator at the global level. He said, “It’s really a springboard for us getting into larger jurisdictions as we get taken more seriously from US and other larger markets, whereas I think it’s quite difficult for somebody standalone… to do that.”
The company said the deal would bring 1/3rd of the crypto exchanges registered in Canada under it, and more such acquisitions are underway. The consolidation drive would make WonderFi the largest end-to-end crypto platform trading publicly. WonderFi had earlier acquired Bitbuy—the crypto marketplace—for $206 million. Bitbuy is fully regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). Coinberry also acquired the OSC license in August 2021.
This deal will result in WonderFi owning two of the six regulated Canadian exchanges. The four other platforms registered with the OSC include CoinSmart, Wealthsimple, Netcoins, and Fidelity. Shark Tank Famed Kevin O’Leary, the strategic advisor at WonderFi, confirmed that the customers of both the exchanges wouldn’t see any immediate changes, but WonderFI has plans to bring new features to each of the platforms.
Kevin O’Leary said, “WonderFi’s management team continues to execute on accretive acquisitions, and this is an extremely important one because it shows the speed and vision behind WonderFi’s plan. Compliant access to crypto is what matters, and WonderFi has quickly established itself as a leader in Canada. Next stop, global.”
Samaroo avered that WonderFi wants to make a global presence on a regulated basis. Besides Canada, WonderFi has plans to target markets in the US and Australia. Acquisition of such regulated crypto exchanges is another way to cut costs and time lags as the time spent on regulatory processes is saved.
Samaroo said, “There’s definitely cost and time efficiencies as we bring licensed entities together. That $1.5 million price tag would be sort of the cost to get from starting the process to actually getting the license issued. The ongoing costs are actually very significant because there are all these requirements that you need on an ongoing basis.”
The acquisition would result in 220,000 new registered users and over $100 million in assets under custody for WonderFi.
Shashank is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash