Iris Energy Spending $200 million to Prepare for Direct Listing

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In Brief
  • Bitcoin miner Iris Energy plans to raise $200 million in a fundraising round to prepare for a direct listing.

  • The company was exploring options for special purpose acquisition companies in May, after raising millions in March.

  • Iris CEO Daniel Roberts earlier said he expects Bitcoin to survive the current environmental scrutiny.

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Bitcoin miner Iris Energy plans to raise $200 million in a fundraising round to prepare for a direct listing.

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The Sydney-based company uses renewable energy to produce the cryptocurrency. It said it is working with an adviser on the investment round and has met with prospective investors. The purpose of the investment round is to help prepare the firm for a listing on the US technology-focused exchange. According to the anonymous source familiar with the matter, this could happen as soon as this year.

Direct listing

According to Iris Energy Executive Director and Co-Founder Daniel Roberts, the company was exploring options for special purpose acquisition companies in May. This confirmed an earlier Bloomberg report, saying the company had been approached by several blank-check companies. The report featured a potential U.S. listing that could have raised $300 to $500 million.

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The company is opting for a private placement, in which new shares are not offered. This is because a SPAC deal would have diluted the existing investors’ stakes more than a direct listing. In spite of all these intentions, discussions are still ongoing. Iris Energy could decide not to proceed with the fundraising and direct listing plan, the person said. 

Iris developments

Apart from public offering goals, Iris also has some operational goals it is on track to achieve. For instance, Iris signed new contracts locking allowing it to reach a mining capacity of 15.2 exahash per second. While this capacity could be reached within a few years, the firm is currently on track to reach 4.5 exahash by the end of 2022. This is a considerable jump up from its current capacity of 0.7 exahash.

Iris Energy has been getting closer to achieving this thanks to a A$20 million ($15 million) fundraising in March. It was ultimately enlarged again, ultimately raising A$110 million. According to its website, the company’s flagship project is a 50 megawatt data center in British Columbia, Canada. It runs Bitcoin mining equipment powered by renewable energy. Earlier this year, Roberts confidently expressed that Bitcoin will survive the current scrutiny it is enduring due to environmental concerns.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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