Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFT and new trends

Ripple splashes $250 million on Metaco acquisition

Mergers & Acquisitions • May 17, 2023, 8:00AM EDT

Quick Take

  • Crypto payments firm Ripple shelled out $250 million for Swiss custody startup Metaco.
  • The deal comes with Ripple still locked in a years-long feud with the SEC over sales of the token XRP.

Stay updated on Pro Crypto Ecosystems news by locking ACS tokens with The Block.

Connect/Create Wallet You can unlock at any time.*
No wallet? No problem. You can set one up for free. We recommend Torus for first-time users.
*a 2% locking fee will be added at the time of locking. Learn more about Access Protocol

San Francisco-based crypto company Ripple today announced an audacious swoop for Swiss custody firm Metaco in a deal worth $250 million.

For Ripple, an enterprise blockchain and payments specialist, the move signals an expansion into providing crypto custody services for institutional investors. The company plans to start offering customers tools to custody, issue and settle tokenized assets, according to today’s announcement.

The transaction — which was financed through a mix of cash and Ripple equity — will see Ripple become the sole shareholder of Metaco, but the firm will still operate as a standalone brand. Its founder and CEO Adrien Treccani will continue to lead the business.

“Metaco is a proven leader in institutional digital asset custody with an exceptional executive bench and a truly unmatched customer track record,” said Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, in a statement. “Bringing on Metaco is monumental for our growing product suite and expanding global footprint.”

Founded in Switzerland in 2015, Metaco serves a range of clients including global custodians, large banks, financial institutions and other corporates. Its core crypto custody product, Harmonize, helps investors manage custody, trading, tokenization, staking and smart contract management across the DeFi ecosystem.

Hunting for deals

Metaco is already live across a number of markets, including Switzerland, Germany, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Ripple, meanwhile, boasts customers in over 55 countries and can offer its payment services in over 70 markets globally.

News of the acquisition comes with Ripple still locked in a years-long feud with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2020, the SEC accused Ripple of raising $1.3 billion through the sale of XRP, a token, and also sued CEO Garlinghouse and co-founder Christian Larsen. A decision from a federal judge settling the dispute could come as soon as the first half of this year.

CEO Garlinghouse had signalled as far back as May 2022, however, that the company had a “a very strong balance sheet” and may seek out M&A opportunities, in an interview with CNBC.

Monica Long, Ripple’s president, said in a statement today that Ripple “is uniquely positioned to address the growing institutional crypto custody market, expected to reach nearly $10 trillion by 2030.”