: NBA star Kevin Durant invested in Coinbase in 2017 — his stake is now worth 53 times what it was worth then

United States

Cryptocurrency platform Coinbase Global Inc. COIN, +5.96% became the most valuable U.S. financial exchange on Wednesday as it ended the day trading at $ 328.28, valuing the company at nearly $ 86 billion on a diluted basis.

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, the third highest earner in the NBA, was one of the early investors making bank on the Coinbase IPO.

Through their investment company Thirty Five Ventures, Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman invested in Coinbase back in 2017. At the time, Coinbase was securing capital for their Series D funding. That funding rounding raised over $ 100 million at a valuation of $ 1.6 billion, according to business reporter Joe Pompliano.

The company, whose users primarily deal in bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.49% and ethereum ETHUSD, +0.82%, now has a valuation that is 53 times as high as when Durant invested, signaling a massive jump in the value of his investment.

It’s unclear how much Durant invested in Coinbase back in 2017, but he has made million-dollar investments in the past, including a $ 1 million investment in Postmates before its sale to Uber UBER, -0.64% in 2020. A $ 1 million investment in Coinbase in 2017 would be worth over $ 53 million today.

Durant and Thirty Five Ventures have also invested in several startups including financial-services company Acorns, esports organization Andbox and alternative-asset-management company Alt.

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Other notable early-stage investors in Coinbase include billionaire PayPal PYPL, -1.51% and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, libertarian hedge-fund manager turned venture capitalist Dmitry Balyasny, Google GOOG, +0.05% GOOGL, -0.11% Ventures founder Bill Maris, and political strategist and investor Bradley Tusk.

Shares of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase were up 1.4% on Thursday, and a few Wall Street analysts still say Coinbase is a buy.

Major U.S. stock benchmarks posted gains on Thursday, Coinbase’s first full day of trading after its midday debut as a direct Nasdaq listing on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.48%  rallied 305 points, or 0.9%, as the S&P 500 SPX, +0.36% is gained 45 points higher, or 1.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.10%  was up nearly 181 points, or 1.3%.