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Hedge Fund Giant Steven Cohen Dives into Crypto with $21M Funding Round in Messari

In the latest sign that Wall Street big shots love crypto, Point72 Ventures, the early-stage investment firm founded by hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, has led a $21M funding round in Messari, the crypto market intelligence provider. It is Point72’s first foray into crypto. 

Founded in 2018, Messari compiles and analyzes metrics on the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency markets for the likes of Coinbase, Gemini, and Chainalysis. It’s one of many players racing to build out data dashboards and analytical tools to support the expansion of cryptocurrencies as an asset class. 

Despite recent volatility, the $1.6T crypto market is expected to continue growing at a good clip as mainstream giants such as Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase push deeper into the space. The advent of Ethereum’s upgrade this week, EIP-1559, may also drive momentum in the months to come.

“While investor participation in the crypto industry has grown exponentially over the past three years, current crypto research and analysis tools are still lacking the sophisticated signals and data that more advanced investors need,” Adam Carson, operating partner at Point72 Ventures, said in a statement released today. “Messari is filling that much-needed space, creating a central access point for reliable information for the entire crypto ecosystem.”

Use of Funds

Point72 Ventures, which Cohen funds exclusively with his own capital, has invested in sectors ranging from cloud technology to fintech to artificial intelligence. It is part of Point72 Asset Management, which oversees $22.1B in assets. A raft of big names joined Point72 in the round, including existing backers Coinbase Ventures and Uncork Capital, plus new investors Alameda Capital, Kraken Ventures, and Blockchain Ventures, among others. 

Messari plans to use the capital to expand sales of its Pro and Enterprise offerings, plus triple the size of its engineering and research teams. Ryan Selkis, Messari’s co-founder and CEO, highlighted how the combination of crypto veterans and incoming institutions are reshaping the marketplace. The firm recently launched a research tool called Messari Asset Coverage Support to make it easier for institutions to sign up new customers and support crypto assets. 

The company did not disclose a post-round valuation.