Today, Unchained Capital announced that it has closed a $5.5 million equity seed round led by New York Digital Investments Group (NYDIG).
Also participating in the equity round were existing investors Ecliptic Capital, Starting Line, Platform Ventures, Stronghold Resource Partners, Trammell Venture Partners’ Bitcoin Venture Fund and Capital Factory.
NYDIG is a leading institutional bitcoin technology and financial services firm that recently filed for a U.S.-based bitcoin ETF product.
“The teams at NYDIG and Unchained Capital share a mission built on the foundation of a bitcoin standard,” Joseph Kelly, CEO and cofounder of Unchained Capital, said in an announcement shared with Bitcoin Magazine. “We believe there are significant opportunities to create synergies across our respective custodial and non-custodial platforms.”
As an institutional business, NYDIG is focused on Bitcoin as a service provider to large investment managers and high-net-worth clients, but also as an investor to fund and support cutting-edge, Bitcoin-native startups. In addition to leading the equity round, NYDIG has made an initial lending commitment of $50 million, and will continue to be the principal funding partner to Unchained in support of its bitcoin-backed multisig lending platform.
“NYDIG sees an investment in Unchained Capital as both an investment in a complementary technology and financial services platform but also as an investment in the open-source Bitcoin ecosystem itself,” Parker Lewis, head of business development at Unchained Capital, told Bitcoin Magazine.
In a world where many venture capital firms and Silicon Valley startups are more focused on launching tokens and monetizing the latest fad, Unchained Capital and NYDIG have signalled a very serious intention to build and leverage the Bitcoin-native infrastructure needed to make Bitcoin more accessible to real people and businesses.
Through investments in its proprietary services platform and open-source applications like Caravan, Unchained Capital has advanced the development of Bitcoin multisig and the security of the Bitcoin network for all.
“It takes bitcoin-minded entrepreneurs and investors to build products and platforms that bitcoiners actually value and the investments that both Unchained and NYDIG are making reinforce the strength of the bitcoin ecosystem as a whole," Lewis said.
Through many of its initiatives, the team at Unchained Capital is dedicated to advancing both bitcoin the asset and Bitcoin the movement. But it may be less publicly well-known that NYDIG holds similar ideals.
"As the founder of one of the largest Bitcoin-focused firms in the world, I don’t mind if you come to Bitcoin for the price,” NYDIG Founder Ross Stevens wrote in his 2020 letter to shareholders of NYDIG’s parent company, Stone Ridge. “I just hope you stay for the principles."
Unchained emphasized that this investment from NYIG is an alignment of first principles and an opportunity to finance Bitcoin infrastructure — something the world needs. It’s something that the groups hope will be the beginning of a larger trend.
“Combining forces, NYDIG and Unchained together can now act with a unified urgency to accelerate fairer and freer access to the Bitcoin monetary system, in support of NYDIG’s mission of delivering financial security for all,” Stevens said, per the announcement. “As fiat’s accelerating evaporation of value in bitcoin terms — 90 percent USD deprecation since just the beginning of 2019 — continues to wreck U.S. savers' title to their own human time, Unchained, with NYDIG’s increasing support, is doing important and critically necessary work. On a personal level, Parker was, and is, quite influential to me at various inflection points of my own Bitcoin journey, so I could not be more pleased with this union and look forward to digging in with ... the whole Unchained team.”
The partnership and new funding came on the heels of Unchained reaching over $1 billion of bitcoin secured and over $80 million of loans originated, the company said. Proceeds will be used to grow the team, further the integration with NYDIG and expand its growing suite of services to include bitcoin lending and bitcoin payments infrastructure.