Digital asset platform Bakkt LLC, a startup founded by New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc., said Thursday that it plans to acquire crypto trading firm Apex Crypto LLC from Apex Fintech Solutions.
The company will initially pay $55 million in cash at the closing of the deal and up to $145 million in Bakkt stock, depending on the achievement of certain financial targets in the fourth quarter of 2022. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023, depending on regulatory approval.
“We found a unique asset in Apex Crypto, which will expand our crypto client base, provide us with faster speed to market for new crypto capabilities and serve as an additional avenue for continued sales to a crypto-savvy audience through Apex Fintech Solutions,” said Bakkt Chief Executive Gavin Michael. “With the addition of this complementary business, we believe we are poised to be a crypto provider of choice for financial institutions, fintechs, merchants or loyalty programs that want to offer seamless crypto experiences to their customers.”
Apex Crypto was created to allow investors the opportunity to move between trading equities and cryptocurrency by account and funding opportunities. It does so through what it calls a “turnkey platform for integrated crypto trading” and it already has more than 30 fintech firms on board. Apex’s platform handles complex transactions and regulatory concerns for businesses, licensing obligations and taxes.
Using Apex’s solution clients can execute trades, hold crypto and invest using more than 44 different tokens, including bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more.
“It’s our purpose at Apex to enable frictionless investing for everyone and Bakkt’s team and platform are a tremendous complement to that,” said Apex CEO William Capuzzi. “We look forward to working together to continue to provide customers a seamless crypto experience and access to an expanded solution set.”
Founded in 2018, Bakkt is a digital asset management platform best-known for its cryptocurrency services but also allows users to manage assets such as loyalty tokens, rewards points and in-game assets. As for cryptocurrencies, Bakkt offers exchange services that support bitcoin along with custodial wallets for businesses and bitcoin futures.
Bakkt believes that the Apex deal will allow the company to increase its product development for crypto solutions using the combined strength of the two companies. It also expects to expand its capabilities and product market into more advanced crypto products such as staking, external transfers and nonfungible tokens.