Circle Spins Out More Business, Sells ‘Invest’ to Voyager Digital

Voyager Digital today said it has signed an agreement to acquire 40,000 accounts from Circle Invest, the retail digital asset business of Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency firm Circle.

The deal upgrades Voyager’s total client base to a quarter-million global users, with the majority of Circle Invest customers expected to be converted to the Canadian crypto-asset broker by the end of March.

The decision represents yet another notable shift in product direction for Circle, which recently sold its OTC business to cryptocurrency exchange Kraken. The company also discontinued support for its social payment app, dubbed ‘Circle Pay,’ which has been available in 29 countries, including the US, UK, and some EU countries. More importantly, however, Circle sold its US-licensed crypto exchange Poloniex, which it acquired in 2018 in a deal reportedly worth ‎‎$400 million.

Most recently, the crypto unicorn has been plowing money into other areas. It has launched and licensed a new subsidiary in Bermuda, and also acquired SeedInvest, an alternative trading system licensed under FINRA. A greater emphasis has also been placed on its USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.

“This transition comes at a time when Circle is launching new platform services and products for businesses around the world to help them bring the benefits of stablecoins into their products and grow global commerce in new and innovative ways,” said Rachel Mayer, Director of Product Management at Circle.

Circle Invest’s customers, who decide to stay with Voyager, will have access to new brokerage features. Voyager already offers commission-free trading for at least 30 major cryptocurrencies, as it intends to take on Robinhood, the market leader in no-fee crypto trading. The startup also pays interest on users’ holdings and offers advanced portfolio management tools such as limit orders, news, and alerts.

Voyager’s app trawls through multiple cryptocurrency exchanges and trading venues to find the best buy and sell price or that is closest to the price that had been offered to the user.

The licensed crypto asset brokerage has a long list of deep-pocketed investors, including Uber co-founder Oscar Salazar. Voyager is headed by Stephen Ehrlich, the former CEO and founder of retail brokerage Lightspeed Financial who also previously ran the professional trading arm of online stockbroker E*Trade.

“This transaction also helps us deliver on our promise to investors, providing regulated brokerage services and resources to as many users as possible in the digital asset marketplace,” said Stephen Ehrlich, Co-Founder and CEO of Voyager.

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