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21 Apr 2021

£3.8 billion investment trust acquires stake in crypto exchange Kraken

RIT Capital Partners, a British investment trust managed by J. Rothschild Capital Management Limited, has acquired a stake in the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken.

Investors in the trust were told about the stake during a webinar hosted by Numis Securities in late March, according to a note published by the London-based broker and corporate adviser on April 12. 

Ewan Lovett-Turner, a director at Numis, told The Block the note referred to “a secondary market purchase at what [RIT Capital] thought was attractive value.”

Both Kraken and RIT Capital declined to comment.

It is not clear how large the investment is, nor at what valuation shares in the startup changed hands or when the deal took place. Kraken was said to be seeking funding at a valuation of $10 billion or more according to a Bloomberg published in February.

RIT Capital was founded in 1961 and currently has a market capitalization of £3.8 billion. The trust is managed by J. Rothschild Capital Management Limited (JRCM) and was chaired by Jacob Rothschild until he stepped down as chairman and director in 2019.

The trust appears to have developed a taste for fintech. RIT Capital participated in a $142 million raise by crypto firm Paxos last year. According to its latest financial results, covering the year ended December 31, 2020, it has also invested sums of £7.8 million and £7.6 million in fintech firms NerdWallet and Brex, respectively. 

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