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Private equity giant Apollo Global bought Verizon Media—a group that includes Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, AOL, TechCrunch, Engadget, and Autoblog—in May 2021 for $5 billion. Now its revenue strategy for those properties is becoming clearer.
Axios reports that Apollo plans to offer sports betting through Yahoo Sports, and retail stock trading on Yahoo Finance.
There are signs it will also look at adding crypto trading.
In the summer of 2021, shortly after announcing it would acquire Yahoo, Apollo approached Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital about the possibility of partnering up to offer crypto trading on Yahoo Finance, two sources told Decrypt last year.
Adding crypto to its retail trading tools would make sense. Yahoo Finance went bigger on crypto data in November 2019 when it announced a partnership with CoinMarketCap to display price data and charts for thousands of cryptocurrencies. Prior to that deal, Yahoo Finance used CryptoCompare for its crypto data and displayed far fewer coins in total. The site also has a crypto heatmap view.
"We’re here to invest," Yahoo CEO Jim Lanzone told Axios. "Investing means not only innovating internally but being open to all partnerships, all M&A possibilities."
But while Yahoo is ready to jump into offering retail investment opportunities, it’s unclear how the company would implement KYC/AML policies, especially after the collapse of FTX has led to even louder calls for crypto regulation from politicians.
It’s also unclear which other crypto trading firms Apollo has approached as a crypto partner. It would need to be a firm with enough liquidity to handle the volume that would come its way through Yahoo, but also one with enough compliance checks to make Apollo feels comfortable aligning with. Apollo partnered with Anchorage Digital in October to offer institutional crypto custody services, making Anchorage a likely candidate. Apollo could also conceivably approach a retail exchange like Binance, Coinbase, or Kraken. Coinbase partnered with BlackRock in August for institutional trading services, which might give Coinbase an edge.
In April, Apollo hired Christine Moy, former blockchain lead at JP Morgan, to be its head of digital assets. Moy told Decrypt at the SALT conference in September that Apollo is “looking to be a real-world practitioner” of blockchain and is interested in “putting real-world assets on-chain.”
Representatives for Apollo Global and Yahoo did not reply to Decrypt’s request for comment.