Crypto media outlet The Block sold a majority stake to Singapore-based venture capital firm Foresight Ventures.
The 80% stake was worth about $60 million and valued the news organization at $70 million. Axios first reported the news on Monday.
Foresight Ventures retweeted the Axios article and wrote: “Big day at Foresight Ventures – In the global landscape, The Block serves as a bridge, uniting English-speaking readers with Asia-based audiences. This deliberate step aims to cultivate a worldwide community within the cryptocurrency space.”
Big day at Foresight Ventures – In the global landscape, The Block serves as a bridge, uniting English-speaking readers with Asia-based audiences. This deliberate step aims to cultivate a worldwide community within the cryptocurrency space. https://t.co/jjCTobZygW
— Foresight Ventures (@ForesightVen) November 13, 2023
Mike McCaffrey, former CEO of The Block, had held a majority stake but he was removed from his position last year after Axios reported that he’d taken millions of dollars in loans from Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of collapsed crypto exchange.
Bankman-Fried was recently found guilty of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the mismanagement of FTX client funds. McCaffrey used the funds, in part, to buy out the non-employee shareholders of The Block in 2021.
The majority of the new capital will go toward buying out McCaffrey’s shares. Foresight, which has about $400 million in assets under management, told Axios that The Block will remain an independent company with current CEO Larry Cermak remaining in place.
Foresight will take half of the four board seats with Foresight CEO Forest Bai serving as board chairman and Partner Tony Cheng taking a director seat.
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The acquisition comes amid a retrenchment among crypto journalism outlets that were stung by plummeting token prices and multiple industry debacles, including FTX’s collapse in 2022. In February, The Block eliminated 27 positions in its news operations. CoinDesk has cut about 50% of its newsroom.
“Excited to see the company move forward on stronger ground as we continue to expand our news, research and data offerings,” The Block Editor-in-Chief Tim Copeland wrote in a statement sent to Unchained.
UPDATE (November 13, 2023, 6:01 p.m. ET): Adds The Block statement.