Mumbai-headquartered crypto exchange CoinDCX has raised $13.5 Mn for its Series B funding round, from a host of international crypto investors, including returning investors from previous rounds. The funding round was led by Block.one, a Cayman Islands-headquartered software firm specialising in high-performance blockchain technologies, and included DG, Jump Capital, Uncorrelated Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Mehta Ventures and Alex Pack.
This is the third round of funding for CoinDCX this year. In March 2020, CoinDCX had raised Series A funding worth $3 Mn from companies such as Polychain Capital, Bain Ventures and Bitmex. In May 2020, the exchange had raised $2.5 Mn in a strategic round from the above companies as well as Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase. To date, the company has raised $19.4 Mn.
“While the pandemic forced everyone indoors, CoinDCX scaled up exponentially and continues to do so. Our team tripled in number from 30 in March to 90 in December, and we are continuing to hire aggressively,” said Sumit Gupta, CEO and cofounder of CoinDCX.
“The funds raised in the past, as well as the current round, will help us develop our newly launched bitcoin & crypto investment app CoinDCX Go and make it the easiest and the safest way to onboard the everyday Indian into cryptocurrencies,” he added.
With the Supreme Court quashing the Reserve Bank of India’s banking ban on cryptocurrencies in March this year, Indian crypto exchanges have been seeing an uptick in trading volumes and user signups.
Launched in 2018 by Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal, CoinDCX saw 3x growth in the overall volume traded and saw 4x quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) growth in daily active users, in the Apr-Jun quarter this year. Overall in Q2 and Q3, CoinDCX saw a 12% increase in signups and a 20% increase in volume. The exchange also saw 21% month-on-month (MoM) growth in trade volume and 25% MoM growth in the number of users, in October.
“Leading up to 2020, the interest in digital assets was growing consistently as more investors explored these new liquidity options. With the global events this year, we’re seeing this trend accelerate exponentially, as both institutional and individual investors embrace these new asset classes to diversify their portfolios,” said Brendan Blumer, the CEO of Block.one, the developer of leading blockchain protocol EOSIO.
Among the other investors that participated in the funding round, Jump Capital, headquartered in the US, is a venture capital firm specializing in Series A & B expansion stage investments in technology and software. Polychain Capital, also headquartered in the US, is one of the world’s leading investors in cryptocurrency protocols and companies.
Another of CoinDCX’s investors, Coinbase, was reported to be planning to enter the Indian crypto market as a solo entity by early next year but was concerned about the regulatory scenario for cryptocurrencies in the country.
In October, an early backer of Tesla and Twitter, the Tim Draper-owned Draper Associates led the $5 Mn-worth Series A round of funding for one of India’s oldest crypto exchanges, the Tumkur, Karnataka-headquartered Unocoin.
Meanwhile, London-based crypto-friendly neobank Cashaa has partnered with Jaipur-based United Multistate Credit Cooperative Society to build a crypto-friendly financial institution called Unicas.
Cashaa’s tie-up with the Indian credit cooperative society will help Indian customers avail of traditional along with crypto banking services, both online as well as through 34 physical branches of Unicas, proposed to be set up in different cities across North India. In September this year, Cashaa as a part of its Indian market expansion plan raised $5 Mn from a Dubai-based investment fund O1EX.
While it has been a largely positive year for the Indian crypto ecosystem, one where homegrown exchanges witnessed a significant uptick in user signups and trading volumes, the ongoing Bitcoin bull run only helping matters, industry stakeholders feel that lack of regulation remains a nagging concern for the industry.