CoinSwitch Kuber, which helps retail investors invest in cryptocurrencies via an app, raised $25 million in a Series B funding round from the US-based Tiger Global Management, valuing the startup at about $500 million, the company said on April 22. Its other investors include Sequoia India and Ribbit Capital.
CoinSwitch was founded in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni and Vimal Sagar Tiwari as a global aggregator of cryptocurrency exchanges. In June 2020, it launched Kuber, its India-focused crypto investment platform that has 4.5 million users. The company has an annual revenue of about $50 million, CEO Singhal said.
“We want to simplify crypto investing for Indians, and also educate them about the asset class. There have been a lot of doubts about cryptocurrencies. We will invest in educating investors and think there is an opportunity for us to become the leading crypto startup in India,” he added.
It previously raised $15 million from Ribbit, Sequoia and others in January this year.
Tiger’s investment in the startup also comes on the back of US-based crypto exchange Coinbase’s bumper public listing, where it debuted in NASDAQ at a $100 billion valuation.
While bitcoin is the best-known cryptocurrency, CoinSwitch lets users invest in dozens of other currencies as well and has benchmarked it to the Indian rupee, with investors allowed to invest as little as Rs 100 to get exposure to the burgeoning but potentially risky asset class.
Cryptocurrency has had a tumultuous time in India, with the government threatening to ban it repeatedly over the years but has more recently seen to be coming around to the idea that it can be used as an investment tool but not as a currency substitute, the way it has been used in some other countries.
Singhal said that he had seen the platform being used across India, beyond the metro cities, indicating broad-based interest in the new asset class.
Cryptocurrencies are technically unregulated and meant to be independent of governments, a giant like Coinbase could set up establishments in other countries, thus not needing dedicated crypto platforms for each country.
“No, I think that you need a company which understands the Indian consumer, the Indian mindset, the Indian regulatory space. We want to tailor this asset class to Indian investors and I think you need an Indian company for that,” Singhal said.