In 2013, Coinbase closed a $ 25M Series B funding round. Participants included QueensBridge Venture Partners, a venture capital firm co-founded by American rapper Nas.
The company did not sell its stake, which means it is one of the beneficiaries of the upcoming direct listing on Nasdaq.
At the close of the round, Coinbase was valued at $ 143 million. QueensBridge Venture Partners typically invests between $ 100,000 and $ 500,000. Considering the then share price of $ 1.00676, the value of its share at the weighted average price of the first quarter in private markets is in the range of $ 34 million to $ 173 mln.
According to sources, Nas is friends with Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). The latter is one of the largest shareholders of Coinbase with a 14.1% voting share. Perhaps it was Horowitz who advised his friend to invest in the exchange.
Rapper's QueensBridge partner Anthony Saleh recommended on Twitter to buy Coinbase stock at any price after a direct listing.
Other notable beneficiaries include Union Square Ventures (8.1% of voting rights) and Ribbit Capital (7%). Private shareholders include co-founders Brian Armstrong (21.6%), Fred Ersam (8.9%), and commercial director Surojit Chatterjee (less than 1%).