The parent company of the Belgian crypto trading platform Bit4You aims to become the first European listed company in its sector. It wants to raise 25 million euros for the acquisition of the listed Beluga, among other things through crowdlending.
Especially now that the crypto markets are shaking, Belgian entrepreneurs want to bring their crypto trading platform to the stock market. This will happen through the acquisition of Beluga. Bit4you CEO Sacha Vandamme, Chairman of the Board José Zurstrassen and CFO Marc Toledo explained on Tuesday how they will finance it.
A subordinated bond is offered via the Brussels crowdlending platform BeeBonds, targeting a minimum of 0.5 million euros and a maximum of 5 million euros. Until now, BeeBonds has been primarily active in real estate projects. The operation for Bit4you starts on Friday.
The term is four years, and the annual interest rate is set at 8 percent gross with a surcharge of 4 percent at maturity based on the group’s consolidated cash flow. The entrance fee is 100 euros. “The bonds have an ISIN code and can be offered subsequently on the Euronext Expert Market,” said Joel Duysan, CEO of BeeBonds.
Another bond loan is placed with institutional investors for a maximum of 20 million euros at an interest rate of around 9 percent annually. There are contacts to institutional parties, but no commitments yet.
Last week, it was announced that Chainius Solutions, which owns 99.99 percent of the shares in Bit4you, wants to take over the main shareholder Philippe Weill’s share in Beluga. Due to its size, almost 65 percent, the company is legally obliged to make a takeover bid for the rest of the shares. Chainius offers 3.40 euros per share and puts a total of almost 5 million euros on the table for the company. Beluga has 2.7 million euros in cash and investments in its portfolio. The offer depends on the success of the planned financing operation and Bel20 must not fall 10 per cent.
The operation should provide Bit4you with the resources it needs to further develop and acquire companies operating in the crypto and blockchain sectors or related sectors. If the offer succeeds, Beluga will absorb Chainius, a so-called ‘reverse takeover’.
Chances of success
We can grow in a declining or rising market. It is only in a flat market where nothing happens that it is less good for us as a platform.
The question is what the chances of success for the operation are now that the crypto markets are collapsing and the US big brother Coinbase is announcing a firing. Chainius emphasizes that investors in the project do not invest in crypto. †Bit4you does not invest in these assets, it provides the technical means for transactions, “says Zurstrassen. ‘We can grow in a declining or rising market. It is only in a flat market when nothing happens that it is less good for us as a platform ‘, explains Vandamme. The question remains whether a longer’ crypto winter ‘threatens to weigh on the number of users.
If the amount of 25 million euros is not reached, Bit4you will have to limit its ambitions, scrap certain projects or look for other financing options.
Bit4you charges a deposit fee of 1.5 percent and a payout fee of 2.5 percent. It also receives revenue from arbitrage between trading platforms and has a preliminary agreement with a European bank to issue a crypto debit card. This has not yet been taken into account in the business plans, the card must be launched within a year.
The platform has about 14,000 active customers. It can be as little as 64,000 in December. The goal is to have one million users in Europe by 2026. This requires significant investment in marketing.
With this listing, Bit4you puts itself in the spotlight as a possible acquirer. But it can also work the other way around: They can also get into the picture faster as potential takeover swaps.
Bit4you caters to a novice audience that can practice with a fictitious portfolio before investing real money. ‘Our platform avoids the complexity you see in big competitors,’ says Vandamme.
The platform works on a more complete range of financial services. “We are expanding our services with a recent ‘strike’ offer,” says Vandamme. That way, investors lock in their crypto in return for a normally high fee. Part of that reward goes to the platform.
Chainius is investigating the potential acquisition of two companies, a third-party administrator and a payment processing specialist.
“With a stock exchange listing, Bit4You can pay for future trades in stocks,” says one observer. ‘And it also gives the company a little more credibility. If it is listed on Euronext Brussels, Bit4You must in any case comply with a number of rules. It may give banks more confidence to negotiate with the company. ‘ The observer sees another side effect. ‘With this IPO, Bit4you puts itself in the spotlight as a potential buyer. But it can also work the other way around: it can also get into the picture faster as a takeover booty. ‘
- The company over the trading platform Bit4you wants to raise a maximum of 5 million euros via the crowdlending platform BeeBonds. That operation starts Friday. Another bond loan to institutional investors aims for a maximum of 20 million euros.
- With the money, the listed Beluga will be taken over, but other acquisitions and offers of more financial services are also targeted.
- Investment in marketing is crucial to get around one million European users on the platform by 2026.