Cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX said it has raised $90 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $1.1 billion, making it the 22nd unicorn of 2021 in India in a year that is already a record-breaking year for startup funding in the country.
This also makes CoinDCX India’s first crypto unicorn.
The round was led by former Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group and existing investors Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Block.one, and Jump Capital, among others.
In a statement on Tuesday, the company said it will use the fresh funds to spread awareness about cryptocurrencies in the country, improve its existing product array and strengthen its product team. The company will also focus on customer retention campaigns.
“The funds raised will be allocated to expand 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 Sumit Gupta, co-founder and CEO of CoinDCX.
The company said it also plans to set up an R&D facility and strengthen policy conversations about cryptocurrencies with the government to introduce favourable regulations.
The fresh round also makes CoinDCX the 22nd startup to attain the coveted unicorn status in 2021. On August 9, edtech startup upGrad graduated to the unicorn batch after raising $185 million. Last month, Droom claimed that it reached a valuation of $1.2 billion whereas OfBusiness had raked in $160 million led by SoftBank at a valuation of $1.6 billion.
Private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently legal in India since there is no legislation regulating their use. That does however throw up the serious risk of frauds perpetrated by unregulated entities on gullible ‘investors’, in a market where these currencies have been promoted more like high return investment options so far.
However, the Reserve Bank of India has made it clear time and again that it doesn’t look at the blockchain-based currency too favourably believing that they pose a risk to national currencies.
The apex bank prefers a digital currency backed by fiat currency. Meanwhile, the government is also working on a bill which may ban the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Last December, CoinDCX had raised $13.9 million in Series B funding. In March 2020, the company had raised $3 million in its Series A round. Two months later, it raised $2.5 million in a strategic round. So far, the company has raised close to $100 million.
Established in 2018, CoinDCX is a cryptocurrency exchange and liquidity aggregator having operations across the world. The exchange has instant deposit and withdrawal facilities with a suite of crypto-based financial products and services which include Insta, Spot, Lend, Margin and Stake.
In the coming months, CoinDCX said it will also launch the CoinDCX Prime initiative, which would offer legally vetted and safe investments, as well as Cosmex, a global trading product.
CoinDCX competes with the likes of WazirX, ZebPay and CoinSwitch Kuber.