Foresight Ventures Takes Majority Stake in Crypto Media Firm The Block

Singapore-based Foresight Ventures has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in The Block, a prominent crypto news and data provider. The deal, which valued the company at $70 million, marks a significant move for Foresight Ventures, an investment organization specializing in blockchain technology and crypto business.

The Block’s Acquisition Deal With Foresight

Foresight Ventures, which manages $400 million in assets, purchased approximately 80% of The Block for $60 million, which was primarily used to buy out McCaffrey’s stake. The remaining funds, totaling less than $1 million, satisfied a change of control clause.

CEO Larry Cermak expressed excitement about the future, stating that the company intends to “build out new exciting products” and expand its operations into Asia and the Middle East. Cermak added that he would remain as CEO and nothing else would be impacted.

Foresight CEO Forest Bai will become the chairman of The Block, and Partner Tony Cheng will take a board seat, with Foresight securing two of the four seats. Despite the change in ownership, The Block will continue to operate as an independent business, with Cermak as the second-largest shareholder.

As part of the deal, Foresight has committed to spending a minimum, undisclosed amount on advertising with The Block in the first year. This move is expected to support The Block’s growth strategy and expand its reach, particularly in the Asian market.

The acquisition marks a significant step for The Block, freeing the company from its financial entanglement with the FTX scandal. Former CEO Mike McCaffrey, who held a majority stake, was removed in 2022 after revelations that he had taken millions of dollars in loans from FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

McCaffrey utilized the funds for personal investments, including a Bahamian property and a buyout of The Block’s non-employee shareholders in 2021. Since then, Bankman-Fried has been found guilty of seven charges of fraud.

The acquisition by Foresight Ventures comes after a series of strategic moves and the leadership shake-up at The Block. In March, the company laid off 27 employees, accounting for roughly one-third of its workforce, as part of a leadership transition that saw Cermak take over as CEO.

Foresight Ventures’ Focus on Asia

Foresight Ventures sees the acquisition as an opportunity to establish a significant foothold in the US and contribute to The Block’s growth amidst challenges in the crypto media industry.  

The firm intends to use its expertise and resources to assist The Block in entering the Asian market, where it expects increased regulatory clarity and capital flow. Notably, Foresight Venures currently holds minority stakes in three other crypto media organizations in Asia, namely BlockTempo, Foresight News, and CoinNess.

As the crypto market experiences a downturn, this acquisition showcases the growing trend of strategic partnerships and investments within the crypto media sector, driven by the need for companies to navigate challenges and remain competitive in the industry.

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2023-11-14 12:51