Circle, one of the biggest cryptocurrency startups in the U.S., is seeking to raise about $250 million in a combination of equity and debt, according to a person with direct knowledge of the plans. If it succeeds, Circle would be the latest in a series of cryptocurrency firms to raise money as they grapple with the impact of the crash in the price of bitcoin.
Circle runs a cryptocurrency exchange, Poloniex, used by individual and institutional investors, and an institutional trading operation called Circle Trade. It has raised $246 million to date from investors that include Goldman Sachs, Baidu of China and IDG Capital. Circle was reportedly valued at nearly $3 billion last year although the valuation sought in the latest funding round couldn’t be learned.