WonderFi Technologies Inc, backed by investor Kevin O’Leary, agreed to buy Bitbuy‘s parent company First Ledger for about C$206 million ($162 million), giving it full ownership of the Canadian crypto marketplace.
Crypto aggregating platform WonderFi will pay with 70 million new shares and C$50 million in cash, C$20 million of which will be paid upfront and C$30 million in deferred cash, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The deal will give WonderFi access to Toronto-based Bitbuy’s more than 375,000 users.
More than $4.4 billion has been transacted through the Bitbuy marketplace since 2016 and the company generated over $31 million in revenue last year, according to the WonderFi statement.
“The integration of WonderFi and Bitbuy is a huge step forward in our mission of democratising finance through easy and secure access to DeFi and crypto,” WonderFi CEO Ben Samaroo said in a press release.
Decentralised finance platforms (DeFi) allow users to lend, borrow and save – usually in cryptocurrencies – while bypassing traditional gatekeepers of finance such as banks.
The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2022, according to the statement.
Australia Expansion is Next
According to a report in The Globe and Mail newspaper, Canada’s WonderFi hopes to expand next into Australia.
“This is a great opportunity to really accelerate the growth of both business within Canada and internationally,” WonderFi‘s Samaroo said.
In 2021, Australian online retail company Kogan.com and Bitbuy entered into a domain sale agreement that saw Kogan sell the domain name bitbuy.com to Bitbuy’s parent company.
The agreement also had an advertising arrangement whereby Kogan.com will provide marketing support to Bitbuy’s future launch into the Australian market.
- Reuters with additional editing by Kevin Hamlin