Blockchain startup Securitize has raised $48 million in funding during its Series B investment round, co-led by Morgan Stanley.
The Series B round was also led by Blockchain Capital. However, it is significant as Morgan Stanley Tactical Value Investings’ first foray into the blockchain industry. Co-head of the investment arm of the New York-based bank, Pedro Teixeira, will join Securitize’s board. Despite being the two largest investors, neither company disclosed the size of their stakes.
Morgan Stanley sees Securitize “as the future of finance – a future platform for finance,” while Securitize Chief Executive Officer Carlos Domingo said, “the market potential is huge.”
Securitize intends to launch a platform which will allow investors to buy and sell shares of closely held assets. It will operate similarly to the way the Robinhood app functions for publicly traded companies.
Morgan Stanley’s investment is a sign that Wall Street is further embracing emerging blockchain technologies. In this instance, the confidence is based on the use of digital tokens to represent shares of companies or assets. Teixeira expressed his belief in the growth and adoption of digital-asset securities through the investment in Securitize. “We make long-term investments in businesses and asset classes that are ahead of the curve,” Teixeira remarked.
Over 150 companies already use Securitize to find backers, while 300,000 investors are also using the service to buy shares. Despite launching in 2017, Securitize is still awaiting regulatory approval for both its trading platform and its app. However, Domingo expects approval within the coming months.
Morgan Stanley and crypto
Although this is the first crypto investment of the bank’s investment unit, Morgan Stanley had previously looked into other crypto firms. For instance, it was previously reported that Morgan Stanley had possibly been negotiating the purchase of a stake in Bithumb. Bithumb is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea. Additionally, another investment unit of Morgan Stanley had been considering adding Bitcoin to its portfolio.