Amidst unfavorable government policies dangling over the head of cryptocurrency exchanges in India, Bengaluru-headquartered crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber has raised USD 25 million from Tiger Global in its Series B round.
This funding round valued the company at over USD 500 million and marks the American hedge fund’s first bet on an Indian crypto company. CoinSwith Kuber had raised USD 15 million in January this year from Ribbit Capital, a San-Francisco based crypto focused investment firm, Paradigm, and Sequoia Capital India.
Four-year-old CoinSwitch started as a global aggregator of cryptocurrency exchanges and launched its India exclusive crypto platform, CoinSwitch Kuber in June 2020, to simplify crypto investments for Indian retail investors. The platform allows users to trade in cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dogecoin, Tether, and Tron among many others.
The company claimed that its user base has grown by 350% since January this year and has more than 4.5 million users with transaction volume in the north of USD 5 billion in March 2021.
“This is a monumental time for the crypto industry in India and globally, as institutional adoption as well as retail adoption for this asset class is increasing exponentially. We are thrilled to have Tiger Global Management, the most prolific backers of the Indian startup story, as investors and mentors in our journey,” Ashish Singhal, CEO and Co-founder, CoinSwitch Kuber, said in a statement.
The funding comes at a time when the country’s central bank the Reserve Bank of India is working on floating its own fiat currency. While Indian investors—mainly in the age group of 25 to 40—hold around USD 1.5 billion in different cryptocurrencies, government is planning to ban trading in private cryptocurrencies owing to its high volatility. In the event of such a ban, the government will give current investors three to six months’ time to sell their current holdings, local media, Indian Express said.
However, this has not deterred Indian crypto exchanges to continue to invest in their products. US crypto exchange Coinbase that recently got listed on Nasdaq, said it is planning to launch in India and is hiring in the country. There are a handful of Indian cryptocurrency platforms in India such as WazirX, CoinDCX, Unocoin, among others.
Globally, cryptocurrency market is expected to grow from USD 1.6 billion in 2021 to USD 2.2 billion by 2026 according to a report by MarketsAndMarkets. The share of Bitcoin—most popular and first cryptocurrency—has dipped below 50% in the global crypto market for the first time in three years.