USV has been aggressively selling off shares in Coinbase in run up to IPO

Coinbase’s S-1 publicly dropped this morning with much anticipation. My colleague Alex Wilhelm has the high-level details, but there was one major wrinkle for the crypto trading darling: two of its early investors seem to be cutting down their stakes pre-IPO.

The most notable case is Union Square Ventures, the prominent venture firm where Fred Wilson co-led the Series A round into the company back in 2013, which was the first investment made under the firm’s then newly christened blockchain thesis.

Over the past two years — which is the extent of disclosures that Coinbase includes in its S-1 filing — USV has been rapidly selling off its holdings in the company across multiple transactions, mostly selling to other venture firms around the cap table. Since late 2019, the firm has sold off approximately 28% of its holdings in Coinbase.

USV currently owns about 7.3% of Coinbase’s outstanding shares, or roughly 13.9 million of a total of 191.3 million based on Coinbase’s disclosed share count. As the following table indicates, USV has conducted four separately-dated transactions to sell nearly 5.5 million shares of its holdings in secondary transactions.

Fellow early-stage fintech investor Ribbit Capital, which joined USV in the Series A, also conducted a smaller secondary transaction in November 2019, selling a bit less than 5% of its outstanding shares (559,228 of 11,995,949 shares).

What’s interesting is not just that USV in particular is selling (Read more...)