Crypto startup Wintermute raises $20M Series B funding to create liquid markets on crypto exchanges and trading platforms
Wintermute, a London, England-based global crypto market maker focused on proprietary trading and an algorithmic liquidity provider for digital assets, today announced it has closed a $20 million Series B round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners (“Lightspeed”) with participation from Pantera Capital. Jeremy Liew, Partner at Lightspeed, will join Wintermute’s Board of Directors.
This latest round of funding comes on the heels of the Series A round the company closed in June 2020, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, and the institutional seed funding round led by Blockchain.com Ventures in January 2020.
Founded in 2017 by high-frequency trading veterans Evgeny Gaevoy, Harro Mantel, and Yoann Turpin, Wintermute is a global algorithmic liquidity provider for digital assets. Wintermute’s mission is to create a liquid, efficient and transparent markets for institutional and retail investors across all vetted trading platforms and its own RFQ platform. Wintermute is managed by experienced traders and engineers from traditional financial markets.
Other investors joining the round include Sino Global Capital, Kenetic Capital, Rockaway Blockchain Fund, Hack VC, DeFi Alliance, and Avon Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments. All existing investors, including Blockchain.com Ventures, also participated.
“Wintermute has grown almost 25x since Lightspeed led the company’s Series A round just six months ago. That rarely happens! We are excited to continue supporting Wintermute and their ambitious expansion plans going forward,” says Jeremy Liew, Partner at Lightspeed.
“As crypto markets grow in size and complexity, and as decentralized exchanges begin to more directly connect market makers and users, space will require liquidity providers that can evolve in tandem and keep markets efficient,” says Joey Krug, Co-CIO of Pantera Capital. “We believe that Wintermute’s agile and sophisticated approach to market making will be key to unlocking liquid and efficient markets for this growing financial system.”
Wintermute is a crypto-native market maker, focused on building a decentralized financial system by creating efficient, liquid markets with transparent prices. Since the company’s launch in 2017, the team has become one of the largest liquidity providers in crypto markets, covering thousands of pairs across almost 50 crypto exchanges and trading platforms on CeFi, DeFi and OTC.
The company has seen tremendous growth in 2020 growing at a 60% monthly rate and reaching a $30 billion monthly trading volume by December. Wintermute also provided liquidity for some of the most prominent projects in 2020 and is planning to support many more in 2021.
The team has big growth plans for 2021. Wintermute is currently piloting its own RFQ platform with beta counterparties and is planning to launch it for institutional players within the first quarter. “Since we have some of the most competitive pricing in the market, we were literally pulled into this business by our counterparties and partners that we work with. The algorithms we use for OTC are the same we use for our proprietary trading, so we have an advantage when it comes to pricing,” says Evgeny Gaevoy, CEO of Wintermute. “We take no fees on our OTC activities so counterparties can eliminate intermediaries and cut fees by trading with us directly. With the launch of RFQ, we’ll be able to offer OTC trades at a greater scale.”
Wintermute is also looking to scale the derivatives business. “We have historically focused on the spot, but coming from traditional HFTs like Optiver, we have all the expertise in house to provide liquidity in derivatives markets across perpetual, futures, and options,” says Gaevoy.
While most of the team is based in London, Wintermute has always operated globally across venues in Asia, the US, and Europe. The firm believes that with the launch of its RFQ and derivatives businesses, it will also expand its physical presence into Asia. Wintermute plans to open its first international office in Singapore in the first quarter of 2021.