Coinbase, the U.S-based cryptocurrency exchange that serves over 14 million registered today has officially announced the acquisition of Earn.com, which is one of the best-funded startups in the crypto space.
Crypto startup Earn is a two-way marketplace and a blockchain-based paid e-mail service which rewards the users in digital currencies for replying to email and completing other small tasks. The startup was first founded five years back in 2013, then known as 21 Inc and was into making chips and hardware for crypto mining activities. Last year in 2017, it rebranded itself to ‘Earn’ by launching its paid messaging platform finally turning out to be profitable after many years of financial and operational challenges.
Earn co-founder and CEO Balaji Srinivasan will also be joining Coinbase as the first Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the crypto exchange, and will have a crucial role to play there. After the official announcement of the acquisition, Srinivasan told TechCrunch, “With Coinbase’s user base and distribution muscle, I think it could hit $100 million in ARR in a few months. I’m proud of the fact that we turned what could have been a disaster into a successful product and I’m excited about the road ahead.”
Srinivasan further stated that his large part of the role at Coinbase would involve working more on emerging technologies. He said: “There’s a lot of amazing stuff happening. Atomic swaps, sharding, plasma, proof of stake, etc, and a big part of my job will be to take all of that stuff, and rank it based on whether we can use it to create new products for our users.”
Coinbase CEO and co-founder – Brian Armstrong – in his official blog post welcomed Srinivasan by saying “As CTO of Coinbase, Balaji will serve an important role as the technological evangelist for the company. Balaji will evangelize for both crypto and for Coinbase, educating the world and recruiting crypto-first talent to the company.”
Following the completion of the acquisition, the team at Earn will be integrated with Coinbase operations. Armstrong said: “We’re going to be doubling down on the Earn business within Coinbase, as they have built a paid email product that is arguably one of the earliest practical blockchain applications to achieve meaningful traction. We will keep Earn’s business running because it’s showing a lot of promise and potential.”
Earn also assured its users saying that there will be no drastic change in its operations while promising at the same time about its commitment to improve its products and services and make them “bigger and better”.
The team wrote: “everything will continue as before in the short term, with one exception: we’ve put our token launch on the back burner and will instead focus on integrating with Coinbase’s infrastructure and scaling up our service. You might be able to guess what this will enable, but stay tuned anyway as you might be surprised!”
The terms of the deal for the Earn acquisition have not yet been disclosed officially, but reports suggest its like to have happened at more than $120 million that includes the total value of cryptocurrency, stock, cash and management earn-outs. Earn is reportedly said to have raised the same value during multiple fund-raising rounds over the period of last five years.
This is the second acquisition by Coinbase just in a week’s time. Last week on April 13, Friday, the exchange operator acquired Ethereal Wallet startup ‘Cipher Browser’ that allows users to access decentralized applications (DApps) on the browser. Cipher’s Peter Kim has joined Coinbase as an engineering team lead and will look after integrating Cipher Browser’s features to Coinbase’s own mobile DApp browser ‘Toshi.’