WonderFi Completes $30m Acquisition of Canadian Crypto Platform Coinberry

Crypto marketplace WonderFi has completed the $30 million acquisition of Canadian crypto trading platform Coinberry. The acquisition was closed after being admitted to trading on the Tronto Stock Exchange last week.

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Following the admission, the company’s shares rose over 9% on the opening day.

According to WonderFi, the deal was approved by Competition Bureau Canada, Ontario Securities Commission and other provincial regulatory boards.

WonderFi also said that future plans to purchase other crypto companies are possible since the crypto sector’s instability continues. 

CEO Ben Samaroo said he thinks other nonregulated crypto trading platforms might have similar issues as Voyager Digital as it has had to limit withdrawals following the exposure to troubled hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. In relation to that issue, WonderFi has begun looking at potential deals for nonregulated exchanges both in Canada and globally.

“As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, the crypto market downturn has had a massive impact on the viability of unregulated crypto trading platforms and WonderFi’s value proposition as one of the few regulated crypto businesses makes us well-positioned to continue our growth,” Samaroo said in a statement Monday ahead of the market open. 

“This acquisition further solidifies WonderFi as a leader amongst crypto companies in Canada, and along with our acquisition of Bitbuy, establishes a great foundation for our expansion into global markets,” he added.

The acquisition also led to a 20% staff layoff at both WonderFi and Bitbuy – a crypto trading platform acquired by WonderFi in January. The company stated that the cut in jobs was executed to streamline and deliver shared services across compliance, customer service, product engineering and executive functions.

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Kevin O’Leary-backed WonderFi to buy Bitbuy parent company for $162M

Kevin O’Leary-backed decentralized finance (DeFi) platform WonderFi Technologies is increasing its footprint in Canada by buying the first regulated crypto exchange in the country. 

WonderFi agreed to pay close to 206 million Canadian dollars ($162 million) to acquire First Ledger Corp., the parent company of BitBuy. WonderFi aims to become an end-to-end consumer platform for crypto and DeFi, according to the official announcement.

Founded in 2016, Bitbuy became a fully-regulated crypto exchange in Canada after being licensed by the Ontario Securities Commission last November. The platform has over 375,000 users who transacted more than $3.4 billion. The announcement states that Bitbuy generated over $24 million in revenue in the twelve months ending Sept. 30, 2021.

The transaction details revealed that WonderFi would fund the acquisition by issuing 70 million new shares and paying $15.7 million in upfront cash and $23 million in deferred cash via a vendor-takeback note due in 12 months. “WonderFi will retain substantially all current Bitbuy employees and enter into employment agreements with key members of the management team,” the announcement reads.

Related: Binance gets the green light from Canada and Bahrain

Highlighting the importance of a licensed marketplace as a gateway to the digital asset economy, WonderFi CEO Ben Samaroo said:

“The integration of Bitbuy’s product suite will accelerate and expand the reach and scope that WonderFi can offer to the market, and will drive long-term growth and value for the company.”

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Kevin O’Leary, a former Bitcoin (BTC) critic who turned to a crypto advocate, commented that the acquisition would enable two teams to “have the bandwidth, assets and licenses to provide an institutional-grade compliant crypto platform to investors interested in exposure to centralized and decentralized financial services.”

In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, the Shark Tank celebrity said if stablecoin regulations become more precise, he’d b ready to increase his crypto allocations up to 20%. O’Leary is more interested in the U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins as he sees them as an effective hedge against rising levels of inflation.