Rocket Space, which aims to build a “next-generation asset management platform for crypto,” has raised $9 million in a seed funding round.
A few things stand out in this case. For one, the currency comes at an exciting time in the crypto world – a period known as the “Cryto Winter” that has seen other major players in the space such as Voyager and Celsius go bankrupt, among others. Robin Hood And Coinbase Conduct mass reduction. Secondly, Rocket space – which offers commission-free trading of more than 30 tokens – says it “shouldn’t be just another crypto exchange”.
It wants to go a step further by making money distribution and management a supply-side center. This is based on the belief that there will be an “explosion” of new digital financial products offered in the crypto space and that all products need distribution.
Meanwhile, CEO Louis Beryl pointed out, especially as regulation in the industry increases, clients are looking for appropriate disclosures and compliance.
The history of the founding team is also worth noting.
Beryl and Ben Hutchinson (COO) previously built online lender Earnest together. That company Sold to Navient 155 million dollars in 2017. Berl was a partner at both a16z and Y Combinator, and also founded Solid Energy Systems, which It was officially released via a SPAC merger on the NYSE earlier this year.
Launchpad Capital led the RocketPlus seed round, which included participation from TTV; Associate, Menlo Ventures and Soma Capital. The co-led the pre-seed round, which included a total of $8 million in two tranches and checks from Launchpad and Better Tomorrow Ventures.
“In traditional finance, if you think about Fidelity’s business model, there are two big areas – retail and institutional,” explained Berle. “In retail, you have client accounts that allow you to buy and sell stocks and bonds. But on the other side of the business, you have cash distribution. Fidelity began creating its own funds as well as partnering with funds created by competitors.
The broker then built a business around fund protection and management.
“We’re building the same business, with the same ethos,” Berle added. “And we’re building it on a very low-cost, high-quality, self-service digital asset platform.”
Since RocketPlus doesn’t charge commissions, it can be purchased based on volume. A buyer makes money on a small spread between the price a buyer is willing to pay (the bid) and the price a seller is willing to sell.
But Berl says the startup’s biggest difference is in its fund distribution model.
“WI believe a cap will happen in the crypto space, which is very similar to what we’ve seen happen in traditional finance, where you’re starting to see this proliferation of financial products that investors are investing in – think of an index you know like Vanguard. He created it,” he told TechCrunch. “So those types of products come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes they disrupt the market, sometimes they carry the market… My belief is that we’re going to start seeing a lot of expansion in the crypto asset. class”
So what Rocket Space is building is the distribution of those products, Beryl said, “so that retail investors can evaluate those products, invest in those products, get the proper information and tax information on those products, and really the most important thing is to get the proper regulatory and compliance and disclosure framework for those products. None of these exist today.
He points to the Voyager and Celsius losses as a need for greater transparency and more “proper” disclosures around performance.
RocketPlus currently has 10 employees and plans to double its team in the next six months, partly using the new capital. Most of the capital goes to start the money distribution business.
Ryan Gilbert, co-founder at Launchpad Capital, said his company is “excited to be partnering with Berle & Hutchinson again.” (Gilbert also backed the couple’s previous venture Ernest at another VC firm, Propel).
“Fund distribution and fund management are central to the RocketPlus offering, and the timing couldn’t be better,” TechCrunch said in an email. We are expecting an explosion of new digital financial products in the crypto space, and these products require compliant and well-managed distribution.
Gardiner Garrard, co-founder and managing partner at Atlanta-based TTV Capital, said his company “firmly knows that crypto is a fundamental part of the future of finance” and was drawn to RocketPlus’ mission to make crypto “accessible to all.”
“A key part of RocketPlus’ vision is the human side of crypto — making the asset class more approachable, intuitive and transparent,” Garrard told TechCrunch. “While most crypto platforms are designed to be transactional in nature, RocketPlus is built to provide a holistic user-first experience. RocketPlus Group has the opportunity to build a sustainable brand similar to Fidelity or Charles Schwab in traditional financial services.