Crypto brokerage eToro has raised $250 million of funding eight months after scrapping a SPAC listing.

The merger with specially created shell FinTech Acquisition Corp V, which would have valued the company at $8.8 billion, was called off last July.

The new funding, which includes ION Group, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Velvet Sea Ventures and a number of existing investors, values it at $3.5bn and was pre-agreed as part of the original SPAC agreement.

eToro also revealed its results for 2022, with total commissions of $631m and funded accounts of 2.8m, the latter up 17% year-on-year.

It said the commissions by asset class were 48% equities, 27% commodities, 19% cryptoassets and 6% currencies.

“We need no reminder that markets are cyclical,” said CFO Meron Shani. “The diversified nature of our multi-asset product offering ensured that commissions from equities and commodities partially offset the decrease in commissions from cryptoassets in 2022. 

“It’s also worth noting that we were not impacted by the liquidity concerns which plagued many in the crypto industry. Our underlying business is profitable and our balance sheet is strong.

“Total commissions were down versus our stellar performance in 2021, yet up 5% versus 2020. We continued to grow our user base despite more negative market sentiment and a reduction in our marketing spend.”

eToro secured registrations in France and Italy, as well as a licence in New York and an approval in principle to operate in Abu Dhabi. 

“As Q1 progresses, I’m hopeful that Yale Hirsch’s market theory ‘as goes January, so goes the year’ holds true. We’ve seen a positive start to the year with markets reacting favourably to ‘less bad’ news and retail trading hitting an all time high,” said founder and CEO Yoni Assia.

“I am very proud of the success with which we navigated 2022, continuing to grow our user base and enhance our product offering. Our 2023-2025 strategy focuses on scaling our brokerage business in our key markets and increasing profitability via revenue growth and cost management.”

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Cryptocurrency shorts

Trade association CryptoUK has written to key government figures and regulators proposing a ‘white list’ of registered firms. Its motive is to stop banks from imposing blanket bans on transactions with crypto companies and “instead take a risk-based and case-by-case approach”.

The annual White House economic report has taken aim at the cryptocurrency sector with an entire chapter discussing why it feels cryptoassets fall short of their promised benefits such as improving payment systems, financial inclusion and creating mechanisms to transfer value and intellectual property.

tomi has secured $40m funding, led by DWF Labs, to build a surveillance-free internet governed by decentralised autonomous organisations.

CCP Games, developer of multiplayer game Eve Online, has also secured $40m in financing, led by Andreessen Horowitz, to develop a new AAA title within the franchise.

Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed for a patent that would make non-fungible tokens transferable between different games and consoles – including VR headsets, tablets, smartphones, computers and even PS4 and PS5s.

OP3N has raised $28m, led by Animoca Brands, to build a superapp dubbed the ‘WhatsApp and Amazon for Web3’.

Seed Club has launched a $25m venture fund for DAO-focused projects backed by Multicoin Capital, Dragonfly Capital and Delphi Digital.

United States federal prosecutors have charged Irina Dilkinska, former head of legal and compliance at crypto scam firm OneCoin, with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering – with each carrying a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.

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Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 23,000 coins is at $1.18 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 2.5% increase in the last 24 hours.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.