A startup company co-founded by a Waterloo Engineering alumnus to help people manage their cryptocurrency investments has joined the ranks of unicorns.

CoinTracker, an online service based in San Francisco, recently announced a US $100-million funding round that gives it a valuation of US $1.3 billion.

Company co-founder and chief executive officer Jon Lerner, who was born in Russia and grew up in Ottawa, graduated from Waterloo in 2010 with a degree in computer engineering.

“CoinTracker and its investors have a shared mission of increasing the world’s financial freedom and prosperity,” Lerner, who previously co-founded mobile application TextNow with classmate Derek Ting while they were both still students, said in a media release.

Tracking crypto portfolios

Launched in 2017, CoinTracker allows consumers to track their crytpo portfolios across exchanges and wallets, helping them see their market value, investment performance, transactions and taxes.

With adoption increasing around the world, the company said there were an estimated 221 million people buying and selling crypto as of June 2021. It is also estimated that the majority of crypto investors did not file taxes accurately.

CoinTracker helps them cut through the complexity to stay tax compliant. Customers collectively use the service to track over US $50 billion in crypto assets.

Led by Accel, a global venture capital firm, the funding round will be used to hire employees for aggressive growth, provide coverage of exchanges, chains and cryptocurrency segments as the industry evolves, expand the service for tax professionals and improve the product to provide more insight.

IRS 'has an eye on crypto earnings'

“This tax season, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has an eye on crypto earnings,” Sagar Sanghvi, a partner at Accel and a CoinTracker board member, said in the release.

“CoinTracker has emerged at a critical moment with the most comprehensive and accurate consumer product, just as millions of new and seasoned crypto users look for a solution to help accurately file their taxes across crypto trading, NFTs, DeFi, and other emerging cryptocurrency use cases.”

Investors in the company include several familiar names in the tech world, including Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit, and tennis superstar Serena Williams, his wife.

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