The blockchain network Ripple has shown some exponential growth in the past year, especially owing to its liquidity and cross-border payment verticles. This has been despite the lengthy lawsuit filed against it by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. Although, this has hindered the company’s reputation in the country, as highlighted by the many exchanges that have withdrawn the listing of its native token, XRP.
Nevertheless, Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse announced earlier today that the company has brought back shares it had sold in its Series C funding at a valuation of $15 billion. The funding round held prior to the SEC case in December 2019, was headed at the time by Tetragon Financial Group and valued at $200 million.
Interestingly, Tetragon had itself sued Ripple in January 2021 shortly after the SEC had made its case, in a bid to redeem the funds it had invested in the company. The company’s insistence on Ripple buying back the shares worth $175 million was called “opportunistic” by its representatives at the time, and the court had eventually ruled in its favor in April.
Ripple seems to have relented to Tetragon’s request now, albeit, on its own terms. The buyback, according to Garlinghouse, has come at the back of its “best year on record” with the company’s financial position being relatively strong. Ripple’s on-demand liquidity service, which utilizes XRP to shuttle liquidity for financial institutions, grew 130% quarter after quarter in 2021, while Ripple itself grew by 33% in the last quarter.
RippleNet is much more than cross-border payments – it’s bringing crypto-native services such as liquidity to enterprises. Today, the network has a volume run rate >$10B. Huge props to the team for continuously upping their game & leaning into new capabilities every year. 3/4
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) January 26, 2022
The company is also looking at further expansion, noted the exec in the Tweet thread, pointing towards the development of “NFTs, CBDCs, interoperability bridges, sidechains” among others. A huge step in this direction was the release of Ripple’s NFT devnet earlier this month, which will eventually bring NFT trading and minting to the blockchain.
Many have thought of expensive buyback as a move toward a future IPO for the company, as this would require it to regain control over its shares from controversial investors like Tetragon. While it remains to be seen whether this is the case, the $15 billion price tag could work in Ripple Labs’ favor by greatly increasing its valuation.