On Wednesday, major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went public with a direct listing that saw its value on the market dip below its private valuation of $100 billion. Shares started at $381 and closed at $328.28, a valuation of $85.7 billion. While it remains to be seen what Coinbase is actually worth once you crunch the numbers, the listing created Smaugian hoards of wealth for early investors, as well as executives and board members.
An SEC filing by Coinbase published just over a week ago details who owns what type of Coinbase stock, along with voting rights, distribution, and a host of rules or restrictions around the stocks. There are two types of shares to pay attention to: Class A and Class B common stock. The two types of shares are identical except that Class B shares have greater voting rights and can be converted to Class A at any time by holders. Only outstanding Class A shares are being offered by Coinbase. At the time of its direct listing, Coinbase had some 261.3 million outstanding shares: 130.7 million Class A shares and 68.5 million Class B shares. Between these, Coinbase’s executives and investors are now billions of dollars richer.
The day’s biggest winner was probably Coinbase chief executive and co-founder Brian Armstrong. Armstrong has shares and options amounting to 2,753,924 Class A shares and 36,851,833 Class B shares. At market’s close, Armstrong’s Class A shares were worth over $904 million while his convertible Class B shares were worth over $12 billion.
Surojit Chatterjee, the former Google executive who joined Coinbase as its chief product officer in 2020, holds stock and options equal to 2,002,036 Class A shares and worth $657 million. Paul Grewal, Coinbase's chief legal officer, has options and stock equal to 915,331 Class A shares worth $300,484,860.
Marc Andreessen, one of the company's earliest investors, is sitting on 5,516,037 Class A shares and 23,961,498 Class B shares through his own investments as well as those of Andresseen Horowtiz, the investment firm at which he is a general partner. That means his Class A shares are worth a cool $1.8 billion while his Class B shares would be worth $7.8 billion. Fred Ehsram, co-founder of Coinbase, has options and stock equal to 2,570,459 Class A shares and 15,114,503 Class B shares, pegging his haul at $843 million (Class A) and $4.9 billion (Class B).
Ribbit Capital, through a cartoonish number of similarly-named entities (CB-D Ribbit Opportunity I, Ribbit Capital, CB Ribbit Holdings, CB Ribbit Opportunity, etc.) owns 11,995,949 Class B shares ($3.9 billion). Tiger Global Management owns 2,624,880 Class A shares ($861 million). Union Square Ventures has 13,902,324 Class B shares ($4.5 billion).Viserion Investment Pte Ltd has 1,381,518 Class A shares ($453 million).
QueensBridge Venture Partners, a fund started by rapper Nasir Jones, is another early Coinbase investor that holds anywhere from 99,329 to 496,642 shares. That places Nas' cut at anywhere from $32 million and $163 million.
Employees also all received 100 free Coinbase shares Wednesday morning, worth about $32,828 at market’s close.
Of course, due to the highly volatile nature of Bitcoin prices and its associated trading activity (Coinbase’s main revenue generator) and of Coinbase’s stock price itself, who knows what any of these gluts of capital will be worth tomorrow?