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Cryptocurrency Exchange Unocoin Raises Series A Funding Led by Skype and Twitter Backer Tim Drapper With this round of funding, Unocoin is close to finalising its Series A funding round targeted at USD5 million

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Twitter: Sathvik Vishwanath

Unocoin, India's first cryptocurrency exchange is close to finalizing its Series A funding round of USD 5 million led by Tim Draper's Draper Associates.

XBTO Ventures and 2020 Ventures also participated in the round.

The company will use the latest funds raised to boost growth in Decentralised Finance (DeFi) with a new AI-based chatbot system to improve customer support.

"We've seen a dramatic increase of cryptocurrency adoption in India following the lifting of an industry wide ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) enacted in 2018," said Sathvik Vishwanath, chief executive officer, Unocoin.

"Customer growth rates have surged by more than ten-time in the month the Supreme Court verdict was announced, accompanied by a five-time 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," Vishwanath added.

The Bangalore-based technology startup is accountable for industry chief 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).

"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," said Tim Draper, founder, Draper Associates.

Established in 2013, Unocoin operates BTC-INR trading platform which enables users in India to transact and store bitcoin and other listed crypto assets like BTC, LTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, BTG, various ERC20 tokens amongst other users.

"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, micro-transactions and lending in India," added Sunny Ray, president, Unocoin.

"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 five 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," stated Arpit Agarwal, principal, Blume Ventures.

Unocoin claims to process transactions worth more than INR 2 billion per month for its over 1,300,000 customers.

"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," Larry Sukernik, investments associate, Digital Currency Group Investments.

Unocoin has previously raised about USD 3 million across Pre Series A and Series A rounds led by Barry Silbert, Boost.vc led by Adam Draper and India-based Blume Ventures.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

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