Bengaluru-based Bitcipher Labs, which operates cryptocurrency investment platform CoinSwitch Kuber, has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round.
Palo Alto-based Ribbit Capital and San Francisco-based Paradigm led the round, marking their first investment in an Indian cryptocurrency startup. Returning investor Sequoia Capital India and angel investor Kunal Shah, founder of Cred, also participated in the round.
The fresh capital will help the startup build its brand as well as improve its product, security, compliance and technological capabilities, a statement said.
“We aim to double down on the Indian market, and are targeting a ten-fold growth in our user base by the end of the year. To this end, we will invest in product and technology and also run a slew of awareness initiatives to educate investors about the potential of crypto as an emerging asset class,” Ashish Singhal, co-founder and CEO of CoinSwitch Kuber, said.
In 2017, Singhal, Govind Soni and Vimal Sagar Tiwari founded CoinSwitch as a global aggregator of cryptocurrency exchanges. In June 2020, the startup launched its own crypto platform CoinSwitch Kuber to simplify crypto investments for Indian retail investors.
The company claims to have onboarded over one million users within six months of the platform’s launch and aims to have 10 million users in the next one year.
Nick Shalek, general partner, Ribbit Capital, said the company expects CoinSwitch to become a “generational technology brand in India”. “We backed the team not only because of their track record of product and technology innovation, but also because of their resolute commitment to serving their customers," he said.
Ribbit Capital has previously backed Indian fintech startups such as BharatPe, Capital Float, Cred, epiFi, Groww, Moneyview, Razorpay and Zest.
The other lead investor in the round, Paradigm, was started by former Sequoia executive Matt Huang and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam.
The development comes at a time when there have been significant inflows in the sector domestically, on the back of the ongoing Bitcoin rally. Although the Reserve Bank of India lifted its blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading in March, the sector has been largely obscured under regulatory haze.
“According to reports, Indian cryptocurrency trading volumes have grown 500% since March 2020, signalling the country’s massive appetite for cryptocurrencies, thereby attracting attention from global investors like Paradigm and Ribbit Capital,” CoinSwitch Kuber said in the statement.
To that extent, India is the second biggest Bitcoin market in Asia after China, and the sixth largest globally after the US, Nigeria, China, Canada and the United Kingdom, the startup said.