India’s First Crypto Exchange, Unocoin, Raises Funding from Tim Draper in Targeted US$5 million Series A Round

  • Series A raises Unocoin’s valuation to US$20 million
  • Investment by the early investor of Skype, Tesla, and Twitter, follows 10x customer growth after the lift of crypto banking ban in India
  •  Funds will be used for the development of new products and offerings, enhancement of existing infrastructure and technology talent acquisition
  • Investors from earlier rounds include Digital Currency Group, Boost VC, Blume Ventures, Future Perfect Ventures, Bank to the Future, Bitcoin Capital, FundersClub, ah! Ventures and Mumbai Angels

Bangalore, India — 08 October, 2020: India’s first cryptocurrency exchange, Unocoin, is close to finalising its Series A funding round, targeted at US$5 million. The round thus far is led by Tim Draper’s Draper Associates, with participation from XBTO Ventures and 2020 Ventures, veteran investors in the digital asset industry. The Series A funding round raises Unocoin’s valuation to US$20 million. 

Following the lifting of the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on digital asset trading, Unocoin’s latest fundraise will bolster its continued growth in India, allow it to build a stronger technology team, and enhance its product infrastructure and offerings. Notable developments in the pipeline include expansion into Decentralised Finance (DeFi) with its own protocols and the implementation of a new AI-based chatbot system to improve customer support.

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Unocoin, said of the investment, “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 have 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. 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.”

In Image: Sanjay Nath (Blume), Harish B V (co-founder, Unocoin), Tim Draper, Sathvik Vishwanath (Co-founder, Unocoin)

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, and 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.”

Established in 2013, Unocoin operates India’s largest BTC-INR trading platform which enables users in India to transact and store bitcoin. Other crypto assets tradeable on the Uncoin Exchange include: LTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, BTG, and various ERC20 tokens. As a pioneer of India’s crypto industry, Unocoin boasts leading innovation in digital asset trading such as the Bitcoin Systematic Buying Plan (SBP), Crypto lending, Crypto interest-earning, Bitcoin Point of Sale (POS) App and Bitcoin Over-The-Counter trading (OTC) — all of which offers convenience and ready access to a wide array of digital products seamlessly and securely.

Unocoin has previously raised more than US$3 million from a range of reputable investors, including Digital Currency Group led by Barry Silbert, Boost.vc led by Adam Draper, and India based VC Blume Ventures.   

“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,” added Sunny Ray, President of Unocoin.

Additional Investor Quotes:

Arpit Agarwal, Principal at Blume Ventures: “Being one of the early backers of the Unocoin, we have seen the 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 5 years, but is also a reflection of the potential cryptocurrencies hold in underserved markets like India. We are excited about the path ahead of us and hope that Unocoin will continue to be a leader in crypto-related technology innovations in time to come.”  

Larry Sukernik of Digital Currency Group Investments: “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.”

“XBTO Ventures is pleased to co-invest with Draper into India’s true digital asset pioneers. It seems India may be poised to be a global leader, and our firm is happy to work with this entrepreneurial team to help ensure that it happens”  said Greg Carson from XBTO Ventures.

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About Unocoin:

Started in 2013, Unocoin is a Bangalore based technology startup and is India’s first entrant into the bitcoin industry. The company operates India’s largest (in Indian customer base) BTC-INR trading platform which enables Indians to buy, sell, store, use and accept bitcoin. At its peak, Unocoin processed transactions worth more than INR 2B per month for its 1,300,000+ customers. 

In less than 4 years since its inception, the company has drawn more than 30 top investors from 5 countries. Unocoin is responsible for industry-leading innovations such as the Bitcoin Systematic Buying Plan (SBP), Crypto lending, Crypto interest-earning, Bitcoin Point of Sale (POS) App and Bitcoin Over-The-Counter trading (OTC). The company has also launched Unocoin Exchange that lets its users exchange the INR and other listed crypto assets like BTC, LTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, BTG, various ERC20 tokens amongst other users.

The startup has been featured among the Top 20 companies in The Fintech20: India List, and have won the prestigious titles like ‘The Golden SABRE award’ in financial communications for the project, ‘Bit-by-Bit: Building Bitcoin in India’ and ‘TECH30’ award from YourStory.

Unocoin has raised more than $3 million in a Pre Series-A and Series-A round. Funding was sourced from well-known Indian entities such as Blume Ventures, Mumbai Angels and ah! Ventures along with prominent international investors such as Draper Associates, XBTO Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Boost VC, Bank to the Future, Bitcoin Capital, Digital Finance Group, Dream Incubators and FundersClub to move faster towards its vision of Making Money Simple through its mission of Bringing Bitcoin to Billions.

For more information, visit https://www.unocoin.com/in.