Why Intercontinental Exchange Is Buying Bridge2 Solutions

By Dan Anderson ● Feb 6, 2020
  • Intercontinental Exchange, a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services, announced it is buying Bridge2 Solutions. These are the details about the deal.

Intercontinental Exchange — a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services — announced it has agreed to buy Bridge2 Solutions. Bridge2 Solutions is a leading provider of loyalty solutions for merchants and consumers. After the completion of the transaction, Bakkt (majority-owned subsidiary of ICE) intends to buy Bridge2 Solutions from ICE using proceeds from Bakkt’s Series B round of funding — which is expected to close later this quarter.

Since launching the Bakkt Warehouse last year — along with its growing suite of bitcoin futures and options contracts — Bakkt has worked to bring trust, stability, and innovation to the digital asset trading market. And when Bridge2 Solutions joins Bakkt, the strategic combination will accelerate the development of the Bakkt consumer application — which will provide digital asset aggregation, conversion. and payments through a single platform for consumers around the world.

Bridge2 Solutions enables some of the world’s leading brands to engage customers and drive loyalty. And it powers programs for 7 of the top 10 financial institutions and 4,500 loyalty, incentive and employee perk programs for companies across a wide spectrum of industries.

And Bridge2 Solutions’ Loyalty Pay solution expands the value of rewards programs and gives consumers a universal ability to pay with reward currencies both at the point of sale (POS) in retail stores and in-app through digital wallets. And integrating with Bakkt will enable top retail brands to offer more innovative loyalty programs and help consumers unlock and access value in those programs.

“Bakkt was created to help bring transparency and trust to the previously unregulated digital asset markets,” said ICE founder, chairman, and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher. “With the launch of the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt futures and options markets, the company has achieved quick success with its custody and trading offering. Bakkt’s second round of funding, and its acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, will help accelerate the development of Bakkt’s consumer application, which has been a key part of our strategy since we first looked at this market.”

The global ecosystem for digital assets represents over $1.2 trillion in value and includes digital rewards, loyalty points, in-game virtual assets, merchant stored value, gift cards, and cryptocurrencies. And millennial consumers embrace this form of value. Whether they are monetizing loyalty points from a favorite airline or trading skins for a video game, the Bakkt app will enable consumers to unlock much of that value and allowing them to trade and spend their digital assets freely, as they would any other currency.

“With the launch of the Bakkt app, we will, for the first time, offer consumers a robust platform to consolidate and use all of their digital assets, from crypto to loyalty points to in game tokens, in one user-friendly wallet,” added Bakkt CEO Mike Blandina. “Combining Bridge2 Solutions’ embedded relationships with banks and merchants and their innovative Loyalty Pay solution will enable us to launch new products that further drive loyalty and empower consumers to trade, transfer and spend digital assets in entirely new ways.”

The terms of ICE’s acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions were not disclosed. And additionally, the acquisition will not have a material impact on net income and is not expected to impact ICE’s capital return plans.