India gets another crypto unicorn: CoinSwitch Kuber backed by Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz
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The CoinSwitch Kuber exchange has become India’s latest crypto unicorn, backed by VC players including Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Never mind the ongoing regulatory uncertainty with government flip-flopping and fence-sitting, India’s burgeoning crypto industry continues to build at pace, as reported by Stockhead last month.
And now the densely populated, tech-driven country has its second crypto-exchange unicorn, with CoinSwitch Kuber planning to swiftly onboard another 50 million Indians.
The series C funding round, led by Coinbase Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, raised US$260 million and now gives the Indian crypto exchange an impressive US$1.9 billion valuation.
A $1.9 billion crypto dream! We're officially India's LARGEST CRYPTO UNICORN!
— CoinSwitch Kuber (@CoinSwitchKuber) October 6, 2021
Other VC investors participating in the big-spending round included Sequoia, Paradigm, Ribbit and Tiger Global.
At this stage, CoinSwitch Kuber doesn’t have its own listed token for crypto investors seeking exposure to the exchange’s potential growth.
However, given one of its major local competitors, WazirX (WRX), has been using an exchange-token model since February 2020, a future token release might be something to keep an eye on.
India has huge potential to be a major crypto powerhouse. As long as the nation’s government and regulators continue to distance themselves from their past proposals to outright ban cryptocurrency (a la China) then they could find themselves fostering one of the fastest-growing crypto and blockchain regions in the world.
According to an official announcement posted on October 6, the funding round propelled CoinSwitch Kuber to the “very top” of Indian unicorns, with the firm becoming “India’s most valued crypto company”.
Fans of Polygon (MATIC) might have a bone to pick with this last point, however, given the prominent “layer 2” Ethereum-scaling blockchain has a total market cap of US$8.28 billion and was founded by a group of Indian software engineers.
Nevertheless, the exchange has grown from one million users in November 2020, to five million in May 2021, to 10 million in September 2021.
“This acceptance is what moved us forward and helped us get to where we are today,” it said in its press release, adding that it plans to attract 50 million more users with a raft of new services including staking and lending.
“Every evolution takes a leap of faith, we are taking a giant one today with CoinSwitch Kuber turning into a unicorn and becoming the largest crypto company in the country,” said co-founder and CEO Ashish Singhal.
Both Crypto Twitter and Indian mainstream media have been taking notice of the increasing VC interest in Indian-based crypto projects lately…
Look at 👀👀👀 COINSWITCH KUBER ON NDTV NEWS pic.twitter.com/QRZ20f9YNh
— cryptoman (@Firoz79591854) September 28, 2021
Good to see Indian crypto sector growing like this 🚀
— Hardik Waghela (@hardik8898) October 6, 2021
Although not everyone’s so thrilled. Dog meme coin fans, for instance, reckon the exchange’s spread of crypto offerings could use some improvement…
If coinswitch kuber had shiba inu, today i would have been slightly lesser gareeb.
— مدثر حسن وانى (@kaeshurr1) October 6, 2021