Indian crypto investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber raises $25m from Tiger Global

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Cryptocurrency investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber, on Thursday, said it has raised $25 million (or 181 crore) as part of its Series B funding round, at a valuation of over $500 million, from Tiger Global Management.

In January this year, the startup had raised $15 million in a Series A funding from global fintech investor Ribbit Capital, San-Francisco based crypto-focused investment firm, Paradigm and Sequoia Capital India.

This fundraise marks the New York-based hedge fund’s first investment in an Indian cryptocurrency startup.

The four-year old startup is a global aggregator of cryptocurrency exchanges, having launched its India exclusive crypto platform in June 2020 to simplify crypto investments for Indian retail investors.

With the new infusion, the company plans to on-board 10 million users by the end of this year, hire talent, and build awareness among retail investors about cryptocurrencies.

“…We are thrilled to have Tiger Global Management, the most prolific backers of the Indian startup story, as investors and mentors in our journey. This investment round brings us on a par with some of the most sought-after cryptocurrency companies in the world and sets us up for the long run,” said Ashish Singhal, chief executive officer and co-founder, CoinSwitch Kuber.

The platform claims to have witnessed 350% growth in its user base since January this year, and has over 4.5 million users in India, crossing $5 billion in transaction volume in March 2021.

Singhal added that the company will set aside a substantial sum for brand building and increasing awareness around cryptocurrencies as an emerging asset class in the country. CoinSwitch is also expected to ramp up hiring across technology, operations, marketing, product and compliance teams, to fuel its next chapter of growth.

Within the first 200 days of launch, the Kuber platform claims to have onboarded 1 million users, clocking investments of over Rs2,000 crore. The platform allows users to buy and sell across more than 100 cryptocurrencies using Indian rupees.

This funding round comes at a time when global tech giants like Tesla, Mastercard, PayPal have brought cryptocurrency support to their network. Earlier this month, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Coinbase, went public on Nasdaq, at a valuation of almost $100 billion.

Coinbase had last month said it will set up operations in India and will hire technology talent from the country.

Back home, the Indian government has been mulling a ban on the trading of cryptocurrencies, with the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, to be tabled in the next Parliament session.

Last month, however, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the the government was formulating its opinion on cryptocurrency and will take a ‘calibrated’ position. Sitharaman had aid ‘negotiations and discussions’ are on with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on how to regulate cryptocurrency.

During the 2021 budget session in Parliament, the government had also announced that it will “create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency” in the country.

The article was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.