Startup News: Circle Internet Financial files for IPO amid Crypto bullishness

In December, Circle Internet Financial made Forge Global’s list of five companies that could go public in 2024. Early this month, Circle confirmed that expectation with a confidential SEC submission. According to the company’s press release, neither the number of shares to be offered nor the price range has been determined announcing the confidential submission. “The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions,” the release said.

Founded in 2013, Circle is a fintech company that allows its business customers to use the power of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain to conduct commercial transactions globally. The company, whose last known valuation as of May 2022 was $8.05 billion, is also the issuer of USDC, a digital coin that is designed to maintain price equivalence to the U.S. dollar.

Circle’s decision to go public comes amid strong signs of bullishness for cryptocurrency assets. Last year, Bitcoin gained 160% in value amid expectations that the SEC would begin to approve ETFs tied to the assets. Earlier this month, the SEC gave its approval to 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs.

In a recent report by Circle entitled “Welcome to the Era of Open Money,” the company reported that its USDC “stablecoin” is increasingly being adopted. For example, the number of USDC wallets with a balance of at least $10 has increased 59% in the past twelve months alone to a total amount of 2.7 million. USDC facilitated 595 million transactions from January through the end of November 2023.

European charging-station company Electra raises $330M

Electra, the Paris-based startup, is building a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout France and Western Europe. And investors have just provided $330 million in Series B funding that is entirely in equity, according to TechCrunch.

The tech news website writes that Electra has 172 active charging stations but plans to open an additional 105 stations. These 172 charging stations represent nearly 1,000 charging points, and can usually be found in supermarket parking lots, in front of hotels, or at highway rest areas.

The article adds that the latest funding round will be used to deploy more charging stations. Electra expects to operate more than 2,000 stations by 2030.

EV battery-maker Northvolt secures $5B in “Green” project financing

Northvolt is one of the world’s leading electric vehicle battery makers. And last week, the Stockholm-based company announced that it has inked a $5 billion non-recourse project financing that will allow for the expansion of Northvolt Ett, its manufacturing plant in northern Sweden.

According to Northvolt’s press release, the deal represents the largest green loan raised in Europe ever. The loan financing will also go toward the expansion of Northvolt’s recycling plant, Revolt Ett.

Founded in 2016, Northvolt was last valued at $11.75 billion in June 2021, according to a CNBC report that quoted a person with the company who asked to remain anonymous. Northvolt has refrained from publicly disclosing its valuation.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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