August began inauspiciously for much-touted crypto startup Radkl. Its biggest investor, hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, announced that he would no longer be investing in the crypto effective August 2nd.
It will be recalled that the chairman and CEO of Point72 Asset Management decided to invest in the then-burgeoning cryptocurrency scene last year, around the time when investor sentiment regarding digital assets, particularly from high-value investors and large-scale institutions, appeared to thaw.
A spokesperson for Radkl informed Bloomberg that it remains well-capitalized and on solid financial grounding thanks to several other investors whose identities were not disclosed. However, a conflicting statement was made on Crunchbase wherein Cohen was the only active investor in the budding crypto.
A Personal Investment
Cohen’s investment in Radkl is said to be a personal one rather than a buy-in brokered through Point72 or any other of his companies. Likewise, it has never been disclosed how much Cohen actually put into the company.
But Radkl isn’t Cohen’s only foray into the cryptocurrency sector. Before his involvement with the startup, Point72 had already invested in businesses in various aspects of the nascent industry. These include round-the-clock trading platform 24Exchange, a crypto analytics firm Messari, and Zero Hash, an infrastructure platform.
Cohen’s family office, Cohen Private Ventures, joined a 2021 funding round for NFT firm Recur. Likewise, Point72 took the lead in another financing round early last year, specifically for Messari.
Two months ago, the asset management firm hired Elie Galam to serve as head of cryptocurrency holdings for Cubist Systematic Strategies, Cohen’s centralized quant firm.
A Rough Time
Earlier this year, Radkl (pronounced “radical’) already lost two of its managing directors, namely Jim Greco and Beatrice O’Carroll.
O’Carroll’s name, however, remained listed along with those of four other board members on the Radkl website. This page has since been deleted as O’Carroll announced through her LinkedIn page that she is no longer affiliated with the company.
Likewise, two other directors – Allan Erskine and Jason Bell – have also tendered their resignations and departed from the company.
Almost a year old, Radkl was founded by partners from Wall Street firm GTS and claims to have eighteen employees as of press time per its LinkedIn page. However, this has merited speculation as several insiders say the startup has only five employees.
Radkl was essentially meant to deploy more sophisticated, faster loading and updating digital trading models to enable more investors to get into the field of digital assets.