San Francisco-based online-trading platform Kalshi raised US$ 30M in a Series A funding round on 18 February 2021.
Investors: The funding round was led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Charles Schwab, Henry Kravis, SV Angel and previous investors Neo and YC Continuity.
Purpose of the funding: The funds raised will be utilized to take the platform live and enable the trading of event contracts. These contacts will be structured as questions about future events. Investors can wager “yes” or “no” contracts based on what they think will happen.
Founded in 2019 by Luana Lopes Lara and Tarek Mansour, Kalshi is a platform that allows users to trade on the outcome of different events and engage with others. The co-founders of Kalshi found an opportunity to develop an event-focused asset class for retail investors. After seeking federal regulation, they created Kalshi with deep financial expertise and engineering muscle.
Kalshi is the first federally regulated platform to trade on event outcomes. It has received approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and is among 16 DCMs in the U.S. Kalshi is planning to launch its exchange to the public next month. Currently, it has a waiting list.
What the founders have to say: “The universe of what has financial value is expanding rapidly. Markets for information, digital assets and even sneakers are becoming just as valuable as legacy markets for commodities, such as oil, crops and gold. It’s clear that derivatives markets have some catching up to do, which is why Kalshi will offer event contracts as a novel asset class that covers a broad range of topics. These contracts will become a powerful instrument in the modern investor’s toolkit.” — Tarek Mansour, co-founder and CEO of Kalshi,
“Investing is about putting money behind an opinion of what will happen in the future. Yet, traditional assets like stocks don’t provide direct exposure to event outcomes. Kalshi solves this problem by allowing investors to strip away all the other noise that influences asset price and isolates trading on the event itself.” — Lopes Lara, co-founder and COO of Kalshi.
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