Binance.US, the American arm of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, just raised a whopping $200 million seed round.
It is now valued at $4.5 billion, the company said in a statement. The funding round was led by RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck and Circle Ventures.
The funding round quickly sparked speculation that Binance could be gearing up to take the American entity public. The company, which says it’s able to process 1.4 million orders per second, plans to use the funds to boost spot trading and roll out new products and services. It will also be used for marketing and “consumer education initiatives.” In February, the Binance parent company announced a $200 million “strategic investment” in Forbes.
Binance.US CEO Brian Shroder said the company has become profitable after only three years. The company looks to continue growing in the U.S. “from this position of strength, and with an eye toward continuing our rapid ascent alongside the ascent of the crypto industry at large,” he said in a statement.
Binance’s foray into the U.S. market has been controversial. The company is reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department and the IRS over allegations that the exchange has been used for illicit activity. Binance.US is not allowed to operate in five states: Hawaii, Idaho, New York, Texas and Vermont.
Binance.US also has grappled with leadership issues. Shroder was named CEO in September after the abrupt departures of two previous heads.
Brian Brooks quit suddenly in August, citing “differences over strategic direction.”
Predecessor Catherine Coley left in June. Her departure turned into a crypto-world mystery: A well-known figure in industry circles, Coley has not been heard from since she left the company.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Original Capital's name. This story was updated on April 6, 2022.