American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) co-led the $260 million funding round with Coinbase Ventures, resulting in a valuation of $1.9 billion.
A16z Makes First Investment In India
As its first investment in India, a16z backed the crypto trading platform CoinSwitch Kuber in the largest funding round by any crypto company in the country. The VC firm was also supported by the Indian investment firm of Coinbase Ventures. The investment did not come out of thin air, as TechCrunch had reported last month that the firms were already in talks with CoinSwitch Kuber and had already proposed a valuation of $1.9 billion.
David George, General Partner at a16z, spoke on the investment, acknowledging the work by CoinSwitch Kuber founder and CEO Ashish Singhal.
“We are incredibly excited about the crypto market opportunity in India, and with its breakout growth, CoinSwitch has emerged as the leading retail platform in the country. Ashish and the team have demonstrated strong execution abilities and the ambition to deliver an investment platform for the masses in India.”
Indian Market Pulling Global Investors
The time is ripe for global investors to cash in the world’s second-largest internet market in India. Global investment firms like Tiger Global, Sequoia, Falcon Edge Capital, Lightspeed, Accel, Temasek, and SoftBank, have already swooped in on the rapidly growing market in the country.
A16z had been window shopping in the Indian market for a fair bit. Co-founder Mark Andreessen has always expressed his eagerness to back startups in emerging markets. Despite initial reservations over the distance, the solid local team at CoinSwitch managed to win a16z over. The firm has clarified that it is investing in the startup from both its crypto and growth funds.
CoinSwitch Plans To Expand Within India
The CoinSwitch team is planning to channel the funds to add more asset classes for investment on its app. Furthermore, the company is also working to increase institutional support and will be hiring for multiple leadership positions in the company. However, CoinSwitch is not planning to expand operations globally like other Indian crypto startups that want to counter the country’s regulatory doldrums.
CEO Singhal discussed the investment round, saying,
“We are humbled by the trust shown in CoinSwitch Kuber by two of the biggest names in the global crypto investment arena with Andreessen Horowitz choosing us to be their first investment in India. Coinbase Ventures’ investment is also testimony to the confidence they have in CoinSwitch Kuber’s business model and the tremendous potential India’s crypto space has to offer,”
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