India gets its first cryptocurrency unicorn

The wow moment.
The wow moment.
Image: Reuters/Dado Ruvic
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India doesn’t have clear regulations on cryptocurrencies yet, but it already has a unicorn in the segment.

Today (Aug. 10), Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX said it has raised $90 million (Rs668 crore) in a Series C funding round from a host of international investors at a valuation of $1.1 billion, making it the latest tech unicorn venture in India. The investors in the round included Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital,, and Jump Capital, among others.

The company plans to use these funds to attract more Indians and “make crypto a popular investment asset class in India,” Sumit Gupta, co-founder and CEO of CoinDCX, said in a press release announcing the funding. A part of these funds will go towards strengthening the company’s workforce, he added.

CoinDCX, which was launched in 2018, has over 3.5 million users. Gupta hopes to take the company’s customer base to 50 million.

To do this, he said, CoinDCX will “enter into partnerships with key fintech players to expand crypto investor base, set up a research & development facility, strengthen policy conversations through public discourse, work with the government to introduce favourable regulations, education, and amp up hiring initiatives.”

CoinDCX also intends to create a sustainable growth rate by focussing on customer retention campaigns, among other projects. The need for retaining customers is crucial because many Indian investors are already considering a switch to foreign exchanges for advanced trading features and due to technical glitches in operations on domestic platforms.

The demand for cryptocurrencies and digital assets by Indian investors has surged manifolds in recent months. Indians had invested nearly $6.6 billion (Rs49,189 crore) in cryptocurrencies until May this year, compared with just $923 million until April 2020.