Crypto Trading Platform Takes First Outside Money in Advance of Public Offering

Crypto Trading Platform Takes First Outside Money in Advance of Public Offering

Trading platform Aurox has taken in outside capital for the first time as the company prepares to go public later this year.

Aurox raised a $5 million seed round at a post-money valuation of $25 million, Chief Executive Officer Giorgi Khazaradze told Blockworks. The valuation is intentionally low, Khazaradze said, to make room for additional venture funding and to demonstrate growth before an initial public offering. 

Deborah Braun and Brett Rosen of investment firm RB Capital participated in the round, with other backers including a number of high-net worth individuals.

Giorgi Khazaradze
Giorgi Khazaradze

The plan is to raise “another round and potentially another few rounds” before becoming a public company, Khazaradze said. 

“The initial traction of us going public always revolved around this deal,” Khazaradze said.

Aurox offers its spin on a Bloomberg trading terminal for crypto, including support for decentralized finance (DeFi) — taking a cut of every trade executed via smart contracts. The company additionally oversees its own token, $URUS, and did not sell any tokens in the fundraise. 

Because Khazaradze and other executives own shares with so-called super-voting powers — with a 10 to one ratio — Aurox’s existing ownership is set to maintain control of the company. 

It’s slated to go public in the fourth quarter of this year, though that could happen earlier. All options for doing so are on the table, including a traditional initial public offering (IPO), merging with a SPAC, undergoing a reverse merger or listing directly. 

Khazaradze declined to comment on the most likely outcome, though he said “there’s definitely a winning route” that is awaiting legal signoff. 

The funds are slated to fuel the company’s hiring for product roles, release new products and cover the costs of a listing later this year. 

“Now that we have the initial money, we can be selective as to who we raise money from,” he said.