[Funding alert] Crypto exchange Unocoin raises funding from Tim Draper, XBTO Ventures, 2020 Ventures

Cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin raises undisclosed amount as part of its ongoing Series A round. It will use the funds to further product development, grow existing infrastructure, and acquire tech talent.

Cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin has raised an undisclosed funding led by Tim Draper’s Draper Associates, with participation from XBTO Ventures, 2020 Ventures, and veteran investors. This funding is a part of its on going Series A funding round, where it plans to raise $5 million, and values the company at $20 million.

The crypto startup had raised over $3 million from investors like Blume Venture Partners, Boost.vc led by Adam Draper, and Digital Currency Group led by Barry Silbert.

This new funding will help in new product development, further growth of existing infrastructure, and tech talent acquisition.

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Unocoin, said: “We’ve seen a dramatic increase of crypto adoption in India, following the lifting of an industry-wide ban by the Reserve Bank of India enacted in 2018. Customer growth rates surged by more than 10X in the month the Supreme Court verdict was announced, accompanied by a 5X increase in trading volume in subsequent months."

He said, "The funding will help us scale our business further, and give us a strong financial foothold to expand our platform’s offerings. We will double down on our efforts to improve our product features and offerings, which will enhance the overall usability and functionality for our customers.”

The team believes that now that the RBI has lifted the ban on digital asset trading, Unocoin can look at growing deeper in the Indian market. It is now looking closely into expanding into Decentralised Finance (DeFi) with its own protocols and the implementation of a new AI-based chatbot system to improve customer support.

Massive potential for crypto adoption

Tim Draper, Founder of Draper Associates, which is known for its success from early investments into high valuation companies such as Tesla, Skype, and Twitter, said: "We were delighted to hear the verdict by the Indian Supreme Court. We had been tracking Unocoin, the leader in India for bitcoin for years. We are so thrilled that the stars aligned and we could finally back Unocoin.

"Every Indian should have a bitcoin account with Unocoin. It is a great way to do business in a currency that doesn’t devalue over time."

Founded in 2013, Unocoin has over 13 lakh users, of which at least three lakh are KYC-verified customers. The company said its turnover runs in hundreds of crores, year on year, and it has been praised for bringing blockchain to its critical mass by following self-regulated standards. Some of the other startups in the space include Koinex and few others.

Arpit Agarwal, Principal at Blume Ventures, said: "Being one of the early backers of the Unocoin, we have seen founders tackle some of the toughest challenges in their startup journey successfully. We welcome participation from globally reputed names like Tim and XBTO in the Unocoin story. This not only underscores the community and credibility that this company has created over the last five years, but is also a reflection of the potential cryptocurrencies hold in underserved markets like India."   

Unocoin operates India’s largest BTC-INR trading platform, which enables users in India to transact and store bitcoin.

Sunny Ray, President of Unocoin, said: “The potential for widespread crypto adoption in India is massive. Many in India remain underserved by traditional payment systems, increasing bitcoin’s attractiveness as an alternative currency. We are proud of our team’s resilience and commitment amidst the regulatory shifts and are excited to work with our partners — both new and old — to shape the future of cross-border payments, microtransactions, and lending in India."

Unocoin has also been lauded for its industry-leading innovations such as the bitcoin systematic buying plan (SBP), bitcoin Point of Sale (POS) App, and bitcoin Over-the-Counter trading (OTC).

Larry Sukernik, of Digital Currency Group Investments, said": “Running a cryptocurrency exchange is a tough business. Running a cryptocurrency exchange in India is an even tougher business. The fact that Unocoin survived and thrived is a testament to the team’s ability and grit. We can’t wait to see what’s next for them.”

Edited by Teja Lele


Updates from around the world