Ripple, a San Francisco-based crypto company, has made a bold move by acquiring Swiss custody firm Metaco in a deal valued at $250 million. This strategic move by Ripple indicates its expansion into the crypto custody services space, specifically targeting institutional investors.
As part of the acquisition, Ripple plans to offer tools to its customers for the custody, issuance, and settlement of tokenized assets, as stated in the company’s announcement. The transaction, financed through a combination of cash and Ripple equity, will result in Ripple becoming the sole shareholder of Metaco.
However, Metaco will continue to operate as an independent brand, with its founder and CEO Adrien Treccani remaining in charge of the business.
“Metaco is a proven leader in institutional digital asset custody with an exceptional executive bench and a truly unmatched customer track record,” said Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, in a statement. “Bringing on Metaco is monumental for our growing product suite and expanding global footprint.”
Swiss-based company Metaco, established in 2015, caters to a diverse client base consisting of global custodians, major banks, financial institutions, and corporate entities. One of its key offerings, Harmonize, is a crypto custody solution that enables investors to efficiently handle various aspects such as custody management, trading, tokenization, staking, and smart contract management within the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.
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Ripple’s Announcement Of Deals Hasn’t Been Hampered By Its Ongoing Legal Battle
Metaco has already established its presence in multiple markets, including Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. Ripple, on the other hand, has a wide customer base spanning over 55 countries and has the capability to provide payment services in more than 70 markets worldwide.
The announcement of the acquisition comes at a time when Ripple is still involved in a lengthy dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In 2020, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple, alleging that the company conducted an unregistered securities offering by selling XRP tokens.
The lawsuit also named Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen as defendants. A resolution to the legal battle is anticipated in the first half of this year, pending a decision from a federal judge.
During an interview with CNBC in May 2022, Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse indicated that the company had “a very strong balance sheet” and was open to exploring merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities.
In a statement today, Monica Long, President of Ripple, emphasized that Ripple “is uniquely positioned to address the growing institutional crypto custody market, expected to reach nearly $10 trillion by 2030.”