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Ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond in the money as crypto firm he advises eyes $3 billion valuation

·2-min read
Former chancellor Philip Hammond  (PA Archive)
Former chancellor Philip Hammond (PA Archive)

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond could be about to see his net worth jump as a crypto company he backs closes in on a $3 billion valuation.

Bloomberg reported that London-based Copper is in talks to raise $500 million at a $3 billion valuation. Tiger Global, Softbank and venture fund Accel are said to be involved in talks.

Hammond joined Copper as a senior advisor last month and the Standard understands that the former Chancellor took an equity stake in the business as part of the deal. The exact size and price at which the equity was conferred is not known.

A spokesperson for Copper declined to comment on the Bloomberg report and the terms of Hammond’s engagement. Lord Hammond of Runnymead has been approached for comment.

Lord Hammond of Runnymead joined Copper as a senior advisor last month, providing strategic advice on the company’s global expansion. Copper, founded in 2018, recently opened an office in the US and hopes to expand to Asia.

Copper helps investment firms deal with cryptocurrencies by offering services like prime brokerage, custody and settlement. The startup raised $75 million from investors in June, including backing from hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

Announcing Hammond’s appointment in October, Copper said: “With Lord Hammond’s expertise adding to the strength of our team, we look forward to growing Copper and further enhancing the UK’s digital asset technology offering.”

Hammond called the company a “true pioneer” and said there was an “exciting opportunity” to adapt the technology to mainstream financial services.

Hammond was chancellor from 2016 to 2019 but left politics that year. He was made a life peer in 2020. His position at Copper sits alongside another engagement advising startup fintech bank OakNorth. Hammond’s work for OakNorth was investigated by the UK lobbying regulator earlier this year after suggestion he was lobbying on behalf of OakNorth without being properly registered. He was cleared of wrongdoing.

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