Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber is in the advanced stages of talks for a fresh financing round that would see the platform valued at $2 billion, says a report. If the negotiations materialize, CoinSwitch Kuber will become the second crypto startup to attain unicorn status as users lurk on the platform driven by the craze of investing in cryptocurrency.
CoinDCX recently raised $90 million in a Series C funding round in August 2021, at a valuation of $1.1 billion. Despite the country’s tumultuous past on the cryptocurrency front, investments in the Indian crypto sector witnessed a 600 percent rise between mid-2020 and June of this year.
Pocketing the deal, CoinSwitch will move close to twice the valuation of the country’s first crypto unicorn
CoinSwitch is backed by stalwarts like Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Paradigm, Kunal Shah, founder, Cred. The crypto exchange emerged as the highest-funded cryptocurrency player in India with a valuation of $500 million in April this year after Tiger Global Management invested $25 million in it.
Founded in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni, and Vimal Sagar, CoinSwitch started its India operations in June 2020, following RBI’s ban on cryptos. It was one of the first to have private equity to fund it because its model makes CoinSwitch Kuber an aggregator of crypto exchanges and not an exchange in itself.
CoinSwitch has reported about $8 million in profit in FY21 and hopes to breach $50 million in revenue in FY22. In addition to it, CoinSwitch Kuber’s strong growth to over 7 million monthly active users in August, up from roughly 4 million in April, could reportedly secure a further $100 million for the company, should the deal be finalized.
FOMO behind India’s crypto craze
India’s adoption of cryptocurrency was sluggish. The journey was bumpy as its apex banking body banned cryptocurrency only to retract after a hearing at the country’s apex judicial body, the Supreme Court.
Many in hushed tone caution against crypto investment, but averse to it, the country with the highest internet user is witnessing a boom. Investors from over 200 cities in India are investing in crypto through CoinSwitch’s platform alone. Users from tier I cities account for 40 percent, but tier II (36 percent) and tier III (24 percent) make up most of its clients.
In a recent study, titled ‘The psychology of cryptocurrency trading: Risk and protective factors,’ the Journal of Behavioral Addictions identified key drivers fueling the cryptocurrency trading industry and leading from the front is social media.
The study says social media plays a pivotal role in crypto trading as it can drive investor engagement. Forums like Reddit provide a platform for cryptocurrency-based communities to discuss and speculate every hour of the day. The study also identified a strong FOMO or fear of missing out sentiment that also played a role in the level of engagement.
Crypto expert from India believes that with the average median age of investors in the sector is around 35, social media has played a significant role in pushing the sector. The sector’s growth has made the Indian Government deliberate on the cryptocurrency bill, which will likely be tabled in the next parliament session.