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CoinDCX Is India’s First Crypto Unicorn; Raises $90 Mn From B Capital, Others

CoinDCX Is India’s First Crypto Unicorn; Raises $90 Mn From B Capital, Others

The Series C funding round takes CoinDCX’s valuation to $1.1 Bn

The company said it would use a bulk of the funds improve crypto awareness in India

Besides being India's first crypto unicorn, it is the 21st unicorn startup this year alone. 

Crypto exchange CoinDCX has closed a $90 Mn (INR 670 Cr) Series C funding round, led by Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group as well as Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Block.one, Jump Capital among others, alongside and returning other unnamed investors. The Series C funding round takes CoinDCX’s valuation to $1.1 Bn, making it the first Indian cryptocurrency exchange to reach unicorn status, as well as the 21st overall this year alone.

The company said it would use a bulk of the funds improve crypto awareness in India. ‘The funds raised will be allocated to expand (bring more Indians to crypto / make crypto a popular investment asset class in India) and strengthen our workforce that will cater to our growth story. We will hire talent across multiple functions, and focus on new business initiatives,” said cofounder and CEO Sumit Gupta.

He added that CoinDCX will enter into partnerships with fintech players to expand crypto investor base, set up a research & development (R&D) facility, and work with the government to introduce favorable regulations, bring the policy discussions into public discourse, besides hiring and product development.

Besides CoinDCX, BharatPe, Mindtickle and upGrad entered the unicorn club this month, taking the total tally of unicorns in India to 63.

Founded in 2018 by Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal, CoinDCX raised $13.5 Mn in its Series B funding round in December 2020. It claims to have more than 3.5 Mn users. It operates CoinDCX Go, a crypto investment app, a professional trading platform called CoinDCX Pro and DCX Learn, a crypto-centric investor education platform. In the coming months, the company said it will launch the CoinDCX Prime product for HNI and enterprise customers, providing legally vetted and safe investments, as well as Cosmex, CoinDCX’s global trading product.

Crypto exchanges are fast gaining traction amid a growing appetite for crypto assets even among retail and casual investors. The likes of WazirC, CoinDCX, CoinSwitch Kuber, Zebpay, Unocoin and others have seen tremendous growth in recent months. This has been backed by mass advertising campaigns, which have made cryptos very much part of the mainstream discourse in India.

The crypto market has been surging amid the pandemic — globally, the crypto market cap has risen 10x, from more than $200 Bn in March 2020 to $2 Tn in mid-May this year. In spite of certain apprehensions regarding the volatility of the crypto assets, the effect of the crypto boom over the years is quite apparent, given the rise in transaction volumes across crypto exchanges, globally and in India. For instance, WazirX claims to have achieved 10x growth in just five months, the platform recorded $5.4 Bn in transaction value in April this year, up from $500 Mn in December 2020.

Given the traction seen this year, there is a bigger spotlight on the crypto ecosystem, which results in legal hurdles too, even though the Indian government has been shy when it comes to direct regulations.

In a recent petition, Delhi High Court has issued notices to WazirX, CoinDCX, CoinSwitch, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in relation to advertising for crypto apps, which are said to not have adequate standardised disclaimers. The next hearing will be on August 31.