Former employees Uber and E*TRADE have been working to develop a cryptocurrency brokerage startup, which is being called Voyager. According to a recent publication, Voyager has is now going to be publicly available on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada. This is made possible through a reverse merger, which cost a total of $60 million.
A reverse merger involves a private company, which holds the majority of shares held in a public company when they are joined together. Voyager Digital Holdings was the private company, in this situation, and they acquired UC Resources Ltd., which actually hasn’t held operations in almost four years. The deal, including all shares of UC Resources Ltd., was completed this week.
The new entity, which is now Voyager Digital (Canada) Ltd., was announced on Thursday, though the official trading will not be available until February 11th on the TSX, which is a subsidiary of the same group that heads up the Toronto Stock Exchange. Along with the support of Ehrlich, one of the other founders on this project is Oscar Salazar. Salazar is most well known as the founding architect and the CTO for Uber.
The CEO and co-founder of Voyager, Stephen Ehrlich, said that this new option of issuing shares with the ability to publicly trade will make it possible to build the business through acquisitions. While he was the CEO of Lightspeed Financial, an online stock brokerage, has overseen eight acquisitions during his career. He has also been in charge of running E*Trade, the popular trading company.
Speaking to CoinDesk, he said, “We’re actively looking for parts of the crypto ecosystem that fit with us, that fit with our mission and our culture. Having cash plus a public currency will make us more efficient and give us more opportunities.”
With several private funding rounds, Voyager managed to raise $7 million, due to the support of multiple undisclosed investors, according to chief marketing officer Steve Capone. The intention to offer zero-commission crypto trading in the United States for retail investors was announced by Voyager originally last summer. Now, with the most recent funding round, those options become a clearer possibility, as the company is valued at $60 million.”
By being publicly listed, Voyager gains credibility with the public, considering that it will be subject to the laws that require it to public quarterly and annual reports of their financial standing. They will also be subjected to evaluations from Canadian securities regulators. Along with Voyager, Galaxy Digital Holdings also has gone public in Canada, via the acquisition of a publicly-listed pharmaceutical company.
The whole goal behind Voyager is to make it possible to purchase and sell cryptocurrency on multiple exchanges via mobile app for institutional investors. The app requires a single account, and there’s a smart order routing system programmed in for the best price.
With no commissions being part of the great appeal of Voyager, the company will still make a spread, but this is conditional. The spread will only be made when completing orders at a level “better than quoted at time of order submission, resulting in price improvement for the customer and revenue for Voyager,” assured Capone. He added, “Price improvement is not a customer guarantee, but zero-commission is.
The platform is in a beta testing stage that is available to a select group of users, but the public launch should not be far behind. To bring in more institutional investors, Voyage is providing $15 worth of Bitcoin as an incentive for early users.
Presently, there are 10 exchanges and market makers involved with the platform, and the company has already established money transmission licenses in 10 states, with about 30 applications still in the pending stage.