Private Shares Auction Places Coinbase Valuation at $90B

  • According to “people familiar with the matter”, Coinbase saw its shares traded between $350 and $375 on the Nasdaq Private Market auction.
  • While not indicative of future prices, private auctions frequently provide a reference point for what the price of a firm will be once publicly listed.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong at TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF conference, September 8, 2018. TechCrunch

Shares of popular crypto exchange Coinbase have been sold for $350 a piece in a private auction last week, placing the firm’s valuation around $90 billion, Bloomberg reported on 9 March.

According to the publication, “people familiar with the matter” said the firm saw its shares being traded between $350 and $375 on the Nasdaq Private Market auction last Thursday, which would place Coinbase Global’s valuation somewhere between $90 billion and $100 billion. The anonymous sources further stated this will be the last time the company’s shares will be traded privately before it is publicly listed on Nasdaq later this month.

While the valuation of a firm is not set by private trading, it is often used as a reference point for when a company goes public. Even though the Nasdaq Private Market is a division of Nasdaq, it is more restrictive and volumes are often smaller than those in the public markets.

Coinbase officially announced its plans to become a publicly listed company back in December 2020, when it submitted a draft registration on “Form S-1”, which is required for both Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and direct listings. In January, the firm revealed it would be pursuing a direct listing of its Class A common stock, instead of an initial public offering (IPO).

The S-1 form submitted to the SEC also revealed Coinbase had a direct revenue of $1.1 billion in 2020, which was a significant increase from its $482 million in 2019. Most of that revenue — around 96% — came from users transaction fees, with the rest coming from subscription services.

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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, October 2019.Vanity Fair

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