eToro Completed a Funding Round of $250 Million at a Valuation of $3.5 Billion
- Fundraising News
- 22.03.2023 10:15 am
eToro, an Israel-based trading platform, announced on Tuesday it raised $250 million after its plan to go public via SPAC fell through.
After calling off its plans to go public via a SPAC at a $10.4 billion valuation in 2022, trading platform eToro has secured $250 million in funding at a $3.5 billion valuation.
The money is not a typical equity round: It comes by way of an Advanced Investment Agreement (AIA), eToro founder and CEO Yoni Assia told TechCrunch. The company had secured the AIA in early 2021 as a kind of backstop from current backers in the event that its proposed SPAC fell through. Investors include ION Group, Social Leverage, SoftBank and Spark Capital.
An AIA is an agreement where an investor (or investors in this case) pay in advance for shares that will be allocated at a later date, sometimes at a discount, according to Ken Smythe, founder and CEO of Next Round Capital Partners — a capital markets and VC secondaries firm. The company came to an agreement with investors, according to eToro, that the investment would be converted two years after the signing of the agreement based on the following conditions: that it had not pursued the SPAC transaction or raised any additional capital.
The SPAC, clearly, never took place; and the company has not raised an equity round since 2018. In fact, at the time that the SPAC agreement was terminated last July, Calcalist reported that eToro was “in advanced negotiations for a private funding round for between $800 million and $1 billion, at a $5 billion valuation.” The company denies that it tried to raise money in a traditional round last year. And, it said the shares allocated under the AIA were not applied at a discount since the last raise was several years ago and “there was no recent reference point for historical transactions where a discount could be applied.”
Nevertheless, the company had a number of setbacks around the SPAC that called higher valuations into question. In March 2021, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based company had announced it would go public via a merger with Betsy Cohen-backed FinTech Acquisition Corp. V in a $10.4 billion deal. Then in January 2022, the company’s valuation got slashed by over 15%, to $8.8 billion. By early July, the two parties had mutually agreed to terminate the deal after the deadline for eToro to go public under the SPAC arrangement expired on June 30, 2022. According to Calcalist, the merger was called off in part because of “regulatory changes in regard to SPACs and companies involved in cryptocurrencies, which accounted for a large portion of eToro’s growth over recent years.”
The company’s latest financing follows a challenging, and busy, year for the 16-year-old fintech company — which is a competitor to Robinhood in the U.S. Its funded accounts totaled 2.8 million by the end of 2022, up modestly from 2.4 million in 2021 but still significantly higher than the 1 million it had in 2020. Notably, eToro saw a significant decline in commissions, which Assia said was “similar to revenues” and totaled $631 million in 2022, down 49% versus 2021 and up just 5% from the $605 million in revenue it notched in 2020.