Kiwi cryptocurrency exchange Easy Crypto has broken the record for a Series A funding round in New Zealand, raising NZD $17million.

That’s about US $11.79 million, plus spare change for a fresh pairs of jandals and a chilly bin stocked with some pretty choice bevvies.

The funding round was led by the Auckland-headquartered Nuance Connected Capital, with other local contributions from Icehouse Ventures and Pathfinder, as well as international funding from Indonesian-based GDP Venture, and the US-based Even Capital, Hutt Capital and Seven Peaks Ventures.

According to an Easy Crypto press release, the round attracted 50 per cent more interest and funding than the exchange had expected, also noting: “We seem to have set a new record in New Zealand… this Series A has been the largest first funding round ever completed by a New Zealand firm.”

Easy Crypto has been built from the ground up by siblings Janine and Alan Grainger – before this funding round, the company had not received any external help from angel investors or seed capital.

“The calibre of institutional investors and high level of interest demonstrates increasing confidence in the role of cryptocurrency in the financial ecosystem,” said CEO Janine Grainger.


Global expansion plans

As well as New Zealand, Easy Crypto already has a presence in Australia, South Africa and the Philippines, and plans to next expand its business further into Southeast Asia.

“This funding will accelerate our global growth trajectory,” said Grainger in a conversation with CoinDesk, “making cryptocurrency easily accessible to even more customers across the world.”

The three-year-old company currently enables retail traders and investors to buy, sell and trade more than 150 cryptocurrencies.

With a focus on the average Joe retail crowd, the Kiwi exchange has seen huge user growth over the past year. It’s recorded more than NZD$1.1 billion (US$ 760 million) in sales, with platform user numbers multiplying almost five times in 12 months.

“The funds will be deployed to accelerate further growth through product development, investment in talent and technology and expansion into new customer markets,” said CEO Grainger in the release.


Crypto set for 80 per cent user boom

Meanwhile, founding partner of Nuance Connected Capital Adrien Gheur is bullish on not just Easy Crypto, but the entire, revolutionary space.

“There is increasing global evidence of the adoption of crypto assets and blockchain as a mainstream form of trade, payments, and exchange,” said Gheur, adding:

“The number of global crypto users is expected to grow 80 per cent per annum in the next three years.”

And while also speaking about his firm’s Easy Crypto investment, John Berry, CEO of pension provider Pathfinder, added further institutional weight to an overall positive outlook on the sector.

“We’re confident in the commercial potential of crypto infrastructure as a strategic addition to the Pathfinder portfolio,” he commented. “Easy Crypto has quickly established itself as a leader in the sector and we’re excited to play an important role in this next stage.”