India Just Got Its First Crypto Unicorn

Despite the government’s nonchalance, the Indian cryptocurrency scene is becoming ever more exciting. On Tuesday, the country saw the emergence of the first crypto unicorn. CoinDCX, which was founded barely a few days before the RBI had imposed a ban on cryptocurrencies in India in 2018, has turned into a $1-billion company.

CoinDCX Co-founder and CEO Sumit Gupta posted a series of tweets Tuesday morning announcing that his crypto exchange has turned into a $1 billion startup. Founded in 2018, CoinDCX raised $90 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion. The Series C funding came from investors led by B Capital Group, a global investment firm founded by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

Indian media prominently carried the news of the country’s first crypto unicorn with headlines highlighting the IIT alumni status of CoinDCX founders Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal. IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) is a chain of government-run engineering colleges in India enjoying unparalleled brand value.  

Breaking the news of CoinDCX turning into a unicorn on Twitter, Gupta explained how he wants to use the funds. He said the money would be spent for adding and upgrading existing offerings as well as hiring more talents.

Speaking about the lack of crypto regulation in the country, Gupta said in an interview: “I am pretty sure the industry will be regulated at the right time.” He explained: “We have chosen to put at stake our money and career as we feel this is going to be a very good wealth generation opportunity for people.”

The two founders of CoinDCX, Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal are childhood friends and both studied at the prestigious IIT Bombay. Recently, when CoinDCX crossed the Rs 100-crore turnover, they shared an Instagram post in which they talked about how they started the crypto exchange with barely 3 months of expenses left with them.

CoinDCX is registered in Singapore with its headquarters in Mumbai, India.

Talking about the potential in India, Gupta said, “We have a very tech-savvy population, good mobile penetration, a big base of engineers and developers who can leverage blockchain technology.”

In April this year, US investment firm Tiger Global had invested $25 million in another crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber at a valuation of $500 million.

“As they build India’s leading cryptocurrency platform, CoinSwitch is well-positioned to capture the tremendous growing interest in crypto among retail investors. We are excited to partner with CoinSwitch as they innovate in this emerging asset class,” Scott Shleifer, partner at Tiger Global, had said on April 22.

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