Ledger Sells 1M Crypto Wallets in 2017; Eyes Institutional Players in 2018
With institutional demand growing exponentially, Ledger gears up to become a leader for institutional-grade digital asset storage solutions.
Ledger, the cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer, and creator of the Ledger Nano S wallet is attracting the attention of many while it looks to expand into cold storage solutions for businesses.
This comes after the company revealed to Forbes that it sold 1 million devices in 165 countries around the world and generated over €25 million in profits in 2017 alone.
2017 was a big year for Ledger
Ledger has had tremendous success with its state of the art and competitively priced crypto wallet the Ledger Nano S. The company boasts having sold over 1 million devices in 2017 only.
Ledger’s revenues and profits
Revenues: $53 million
Profit*: $29 million
*Profit was measured as Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA)
According to an interview given on Forbes, the profits are a direct result of identifying a problem and providing a solution to it. Ledger has been able to solve one of Bitcoin’s biggest flaws- the security of private keys. Ledger’s Gauthier explained this, saying:
“Blockchain itself is secure, but signing on the blockchain is a flaw.”
The solution was to develop a ‘cold storage’ device that ensured private keys are secured. Many people have since taken to the hardware devices and as Gauthier says;
“If you lose [the private keys], there’s no bank looking after your assets or any way to recover them.”
As more and more investors get into cryptocurrency, demand for the wallets will keep growing. And with it, more profits.
Ledger has raised a total of $85.1M through one seed rounds followed by a series A and B according to data from CrunchBase.
LEDGER TOTAL FUNDING: 85.1M
Seed Round: $1.5M (lead by XAnge – Valuation: N/A)
Series A: $7M (lead by MAIF Avenir – Valuation: N/A)
Series B: $75M (lead by Draper Esprit – Valuation: $300M)
Series C: rumored to be coming soon at $1B valuation.
The Series A round of $7 million the round was to finance a production factory in China, arguably one of the larger Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets. It’s after those funds came in that the company formalized a partnership with tech giant Intel.
Following the latest crypto boom in January, Ledger successfully closed a $75 million Series B from VCs. The series B funding was led by Draper Esprit. At the time of the announcement, the company had indicated that the money would be used to increase production to cater for a growing demand for its hardware wallets.
What about a Series C round? According to Forbes, “sources with knowledge” have admitted that major industry players like Samsung, Google Venture and Siemens has seen the company’s books and are in discussion of a potential $1 billion valuation.
The next round would be to push the company’s institutional product for asset managers, custodians and other financial institutions that may need a digital asset storage solution.
Attracting big money investors
Pascal Gauthier revealed after the release of the 2017 sales figures that January’s funding round had been targeted for venture capitalists. In his own words, it was for those “who could advise on Ledger’s consumer Nano S business.”
However, the upcoming round is intended to bring on board “industrial partners who will also sign commercial contracts.” Essentially, it’s those that could end up in, more or else, some kind of partnership.
The sale of a million of its hardware devices in 2017 could be one of the reasons Ledger has attracted global brands and investment giants like Samsung, Google, and Siemens.
The increasing interest in the world’s leading manufacturer of cryptocurrency hardware wallets isn’t a big surprise. Other than just being a top hardware device maker for crypto storage, the company actually is producing and selling what the market requires.
Thus, having support from the likes of Samsung and Google could turn out to be a huge boost for the France-based company.
It’s not the first time Ledger is attracting interest from global giants in the tech industry. In October 2017, it partnered with Intel with the objective of introducing new and secure solutions targeting storage of crypto assets.
The partnership saw Ledger’s proprietary Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System (BOLOS) integrated into Intel’s Software Guard Extension (SGX). The aim was to use the two technologies in Intel’s storage systems. The goal was to develop a cold storage “enclave” that could store private keys as well as allow users ease of carrying out transactions.
The CEO of Ledger Eric Larchevêque had at the time said that “working with a leading player like Intel is a unique opportunity to keep providing our growing client base with innovative solutions for cryptocurrency and Blockchain applications.”
Early October 2017 had also seen Ledger partnering Gemalto to enhance the security features of the hardware devices.
Ledger is a Paris-based technology company that was launched in 2014 by eight cryptography, entrepreneurship and security experts who had a similar vision for what the company is today.
Ledger currently has 2 consumer cold storage wallet products:
- Ledger Nano S (wallet) – €79.00;
- Ledger Blue (wallet + tablet) – €229.00;
and one solution for institutional players called Ledger Vault.
What is Ledger Vault?
Ledger Vault is a cold storage solution designed for multiple levels of authorization and control for asset managers, hedge funds, custodians and other financial institutions.
The company now has 135 employees in several countries around the world. It has also established offices in three other locations: Paris, France, Vierzon (NY), and San Fransisco.