Israeli crypto payments platform “First Digital” has now been purchased by Fireblocks – another digital asset company in the region – for an estimated $100 million. While formerly providing blockchain infrastructure and crypto custody services, the acquisition will now expand Fireblocks’s crypto-asset payment service offerings.
Payment Acceptance With Fireblocks
First Digital is a company that provides stablecoin, API-based payment solutions to institutional clients. It was founded in 2017 by Yariv Gilat and Ran Goldi, and has since expanded leadership to include CTO Daniel Prinz and COO Guy Hadar.
Now, all 16 members of that company will join Fireblocks, adding to the latter’s existing list of 300 employees. The acquisition appears to comprise the bulk of the $100 million Fireblocks raised for secondary deals last month. This was part of a larger $550 million raise which brought the company’s total valuation to $8 billion.
As reported by Calcanist, Fireblocks’s expansion will allow payment service providers (PSPs) to both make and accept payments in cryptocurrencies. While many such providers show interest in implementing these payment options, they often entail various complications around wallet integration, KYC/AML screening, and emerging blockchain tech – all serving as barriers to entry.
Now, Fireblocks plans to introduce cross-border, B2C, B2B, and other payments using stablecoins including USDC and Celo, possibly by Spring of 2022.
Goldi – CEO of First Digital – explained that the company was forced to downsize 90% following the crypto winter of 2018. However, it survived by branching out beyond the crypto trading sector and moving into payments, raising over $20 million to date.
“We were working with First from the very beginning and have been doing so very closely since they completed their change,” said Michael Shaulov – CEO of Fireblocks. “Like us, they don’t want to become a financial institution, but rather integrate their technology with our hundreds of clients.”
Shaulov said that they are looking into making other acquisitions, but have “no imminent” organizations in mind. For now, they are focused on integrating the First Digital team.
Massive Growth From Fireblocks
Fireblocks has amassed billions of dollars in funding since July of last year while expanding its operations into new areas of crypto. With money from last month’s raise, it now plans on investing in the “cross-section of DeFi, NFTs, gaming, streaming, and entertainment”.
The company now manages over $2 trillion in digital assets, while reportedly serving over 800 clients. Even former SEC chairman Jay Clayton works for Fireblocks as a regulatory advisor.