As bitcoin mania reaches a fever pitch, many tiny stocks are maneuvering to capitalize on its run, likely leading to confusion for investors looking for legitimate ways to invest in the trend.
Small-cap financial technology company Longfin (Ticker: LFIN) is the latest example, soaring in volatile trading the last two days after saying it was buying a blockchain company, Ziddu.com, on Friday.
As a part of the acquisition, Longfin agreed to buy Ziddu from Meridian Enterprises in exchange for 2.5 million shares of the company. Adding to the confusion and volatility surrounding this move is that the filing for the deal notes that Meridian Enterprises, which sold Ziddu to Longfin, is a private Singapore company that is 95 percent owned by Longfin’s CEO and chairman, Venkat Meenavalli.
The company’s stock closed up 230 percent Friday and was up more than fivefold at one point Monday, bringing its two-day surge to more than 2,000 percent. Monday was a particularly volatile day as investors tried to assess what this deal actually means.
Longfin currently has 44 million shares outstanding, according to an email from the company’s investor relations spokesperson Lijie Zhu. That gives the stock a market value of between $2 billion and $3 billion.
The company had its initial public offering on the Nasdaq on Dec. 13 and is based in New York. It describes itself as a technology company that uses artificial intelligence to deliver financial services for small companies.
For its part, Ziddu.com “presents a blockchain solution for micro lending and warehouse financing,” according to a SEC filing. “It offers Trade and Micro finance in the form of warehouse Coins to the small and medium imports/exports against collateralization of traders warehouse receipts.”
But the IPO filing also contains some interesting and unusual language. A risk factor warned “as an investor, you should be able to bear a complete loss of your investment.”
Longfin also announced some executive changes last week. Both the company’s chief financial officer, Krishanu Singhal, and chief operating officer Raj Mondraty resigned on Dec. 11, according to the SEC filing.
The Longfin’s CEO will appear on CNBC’s “Fast Money” Monday at 5 p.m. ET.
Daily average trading volume is also rising with 185,000 shares traded Thursday, 15.5 million shares traded on Friday and nearly 6 million shares traded through midday Monday.
Bitcoin is up more than 2,000 percent in the last 12 months, according to Coinbase.