India’s Biggest Crypto Exchange Valued at $1.9 Billion in Latest Deal
India’s largest crypto exchange reached unicorn status in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase Ventures, with investors betting on rising demand even as the industry faces regulatory uncertainties.
CoinSwitch Kuber raised $260 million at a valuation of $1.9 billion, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The round marks Andreessen Horowitz’s first investment in an Indian startup and existing backers including Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management and Ribbit Capital also participated.
The Bangalore-based startup has become India’s largest and most valuable cryptocurrency platform with more than 10 million customers amassed in just 14 months of operations. Investors are betting on continued growth even as authorities scrutinize buying and selling of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins.
CoinSwitch plans to use the capital to grow its user base to 50 million, introduce new crypto products such as lending for retail investors and ramp up its technology workforce. It also wants to tap institutional clients and set up an ecosystem fund.
India’s regulatory approach has evolved over time, with cryptocurrencies going from virtually outlawed to being reinstated by a court, which termed the curbs as illegal. The government has repeatedly delayed bringing up a bill governing crypto assets for discussion in the Parliament.
Rising demand India is helping to make the region stretching from central and southern Asia to Oceania one of the fastest-growing crypto markets globally, according to Chainalysis. India’s market grew 641% in the past 12 months, the researcher said in a report this week. In August, CoinDCX became the country’s first crypto unicorn.
“We are incredibly excited about the crypto market opportunity in India,” David George, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said in the statement.
CoinSwitch’s growth has been buoyed by its mission to demystify cryptos for the lay investor. “We wanted to remove all the complexities in crypto trading, educate consumers and give them a simplified experience of one-click buy and sell,” Ashish Singhal, co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the release.
He and fellow founders Govind Soni and Vimal Sagar established CoinSwitch in 2017 as a global aggregator of crypto exchanges. The startup, which launched India operations in the summer of 2020, offers single-click trading in over 80 coins.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.