Flowdesk raises  million as CEO works to bridge the gap with TradFi: ‘Crypto needs to step up’

Connie Queline

Flowdesk raises $50 million as CEO works to bridge the gap with TradFi: ‘Crypto needs to step up’

Flowdesk, a three-year-old startup that specializes in “market making as a service” for the crypto space, announced on Thursday that it’s raised $50 million in a round led by Cathay Innovation.

The startup was founded in Paris in 2020 and has already become a major bridge between TradFi firms and the crypto world.

In December, Société Générale’s cryptocurrency division, SG Forge, made Flowdesk a market maker for its Euro-based stablecoin EUR CoinVertible. And earlier this month, Grayscale also named Flowdesk a liquidity provider for its newly approved spot Bitcoin ETF, tasking it with buying and selling Bitcoin to match the actions of the ETF’s market makers.

Flowdesk CEO Guilhem Chaumont said the spate of new spot Bitcoin ETFs and the positive trading volumes seen so far have been encouraging—not just for TradFi firms new to the space but for crypto-native firms like his own.

Flowdesk has now raised just over $80 million, after a $30 million round in June 2022 from a group that included Coinbase, Eurazeo, and Aglaé Ventures. Chaumont declined to disclose the company’s valuation.

Despite some of the regulatory headwinds crypto faced last year, including actions taken by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and other companies in the space, Chaumont said he is confident regulatory clarity is on the way—not just in the U.S. but globally.

The firm is a registered digital asset service provider in France, and Chaumont said the company will use part of the $50 million raise—in addition to reinvesting in tech and adding to its 100-person team distributed across Paris, Singapore, and New York—to accelerate the process of getting licenses for every jurisdiction in which it operates, including the U.S. and Singapore.

“We are at the forefront of regulatory compliance and transparency,” he told Fortune. “We think this is something that is very important and that needs to be brought to the crypto space to avoid the mistakes that have been made in the past.”

And to keep growing, to keep building trust in a volatile industry with its share of skeptics.

“Crypto needs to step up,” Chaumont said. “That’s how the bridge between crypto and TradFi will be made: Crypto will need to reach the standard of traditional finance.”

Learn more about all things crypto with short, easy-to-read lesson cards. Click here for Fortune’s Crypto Crash Course.

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