- Abra is a trading platform that some have called the “Robinhood of crypto”.
- Its CEO, former Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Barhydt spoke to Insider about the company’s new asset management strategy.
- Abra offers five crypto funds for high net worth individuals looking to invest more than $250,000.
Bill Barhydt and Abra have big plans to disrupt the crypto space.
The Silicon Valley-based trading platform, which Barhit founded in 2015, raised $55 million in Series C funding last year of $500 million. Retail investors can use Abra to trade more than 100 different tokens and earn high returns on some crypto assets – which has led to Forbes describing the company as the “Robinhood of cryptocurrency.”
But for Barihedt, these comparisons aren’t entirely accurate.
“Retail-wise, that’s a good description,” Abra’s CEO told Insider in a recent interview. “But the institutional investment side of our business is growing really fast, and we’re really excited about that.”
Insider spoke to Barhit about his career path, the recent launch of Abra’s new asset management strategy, and the five funds it brings to Alia-
Lesson for Capital Management
Barhit’s career took him from NASA in the 1980s to Goldman Sachs and web browser provider Netscape in the 1990s. In 2012, he gave his first-ever TED Talk about Bitcoin – when the token was trading at just $5.
“Over the past decade, I have been delving into cryptocurrencies — first it was bitcoin, then other tokens,” Barihedt said. “I started Abra seven years ago and have built a crypto banking and wealth management software.”
Abra differs from competitors such as Binance and Coinbase in that it primarily caters to high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors who are looking to invest at least $250,000 in the cryptocurrency space. Barihet said that the total number of Abra customers has quadrupled over the past year.
“Our customers are all over the map,” he said. “Some of the cryptocurrencies are knee-deep and have already done their part in the space.”
“But others are completely newbies looking for exposure to the asset class,” Barhit added. “Institutional investors, family offices, and venture capitalists are flocking to crypto.”
In early April, Abra specifically targeted those types of clients with the launch of Abra Capital Management. The company’s new asset management arm offers wealthier investors exposure to five different crypto funds.
“Most exchanges and cryptocurrency platforms are limited in the solutions they can offer,” Barhit said during the launch of Abra Capital Management. “Abra Capital Management was created to fill this gap and help high net worth investors invest easily and efficiently in structured vehicles across the entire digital asset landscape.”
Wealthy investors can access five crypto funds from Abra Capital Management. Three are designed to generate a return on bitcoin, ethereum and stablecoins.
These three funds are designed to reflect the performance of Abra Earn, which offers retail investors an interest in prominent crypto tokens.
“Abra Earn is very popular, but it is not ideal from a tax perspective for institutional investors or high net worth individuals,” Barhet said. “So, instead, it makes sense to offer this product in box form.”
Barhead himself is very bullish on Ethereum. He said he believes the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap could start a 10x run, hitting a price level of $40,000 within a year.
“I think Ethereum is ripe for an explosion — it has a more positive side in the short term than Bitcoin,” Barhet said. “It has many use cases in areas such as NFTs, decentralized finance, and gaming.”
Another Abra Capital Management fund gives investors exposure to early token projects. Altcoins like solana and polkadot surged last year, driving down bitcoin’s overall market share.
“The most important thing driving the success of these projects is the underlying technology and the strength of their network,” Barhet said. “We are looking at the issues that early tokens are trying to solve, and how they stack up against their competitors.”
Finally, Abra’s seed fund invests in early-stage cryptocurrency startups.
“One of the great opportunities we have is to see the projects so early,” Barhit said. “It makes sense to take on positions at some of the companies we’re really excited about — it’s all about being good stewards of the space.”