Ark’s Cathie Wood Backs European Crypto Platform, Joins Board

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Cathie Wood, founder and chief executive officer of Ark Investment Management LLC, joined the board of cryptocurrency platform Amun Holdings Ltd. after personally investing in the operator of 21Shares AG, which specializes in exchange-traded products.

“21Shares is forging a new path for crypto ETPs by leading with research and a keen understanding of this developing asset class,” Wood said in an emailed statement. “I am thrilled to support its efforts.”

Zurich-based Amun’s assets under management have climbed to about $2 billion from $27 million in March 2020, CEO Hany Rashwan said in an interview. It’s profitable, with $40 million to $50 million in annual revenue generated from both retail and institutional investors such as family offices, he said.

“We built the company to make crypto as accessible as stocks and have seen tremendous demand for our products,” Rashwan said.

One of the firm’s offerings, 21Shares Short Bitcoin ETP, allows investors to bet against Bitcoin. The 21Shares Crypto Basket Index tracks the top five cryptocurrencies by market value.

Amun and 21shares instruments are listed on Swiss, Austrian and German national exchanges, among other locations. The company plans to list its first non-European product in coming months and to expand ETP offerings by as many as 30 products this year in eight countries, Rashwan said.

Wood met Amun co-founder and president Ophelia Snyder at a conference in 2019, before the pandemic. “We sat next to each other at a lunch and got to talking about the industry structure and the potential for new technology applications in the space,” Snyder said.

“Cathie’s counsel on critical business strategy, product development and distribution will be critical as 21Shares expands our global footprint,” she added.

The company’s backers include Morgan Creek Digital, Collaborative Ventures, Quiet Capital, Boost VC and Graham Tuckwell, founder of ETF Securities.

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