Unocoin, a Bangalore-based bitcoin exchange platform, has raised US$1.5 million in a Pre-Series A funding round to fuel its growth. The round, led by Blume Ventures with participation from Digital Currency Group, Boost VC, Bank to the Future, Bitcoin Capital, FundersClub, Mumbai Angels and ah! Ventures, is the largest round ever raised by a bitcoin startup in India.
The new round of financing will allow the startup to position itself as the industry leader in India.
“These are exciting times,” said Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of Unocoin. “Given our steep growth rate, we’re looking to serve millions more in the coming years.”
“India has the largest gold, inward remittance, and IT markets in the world, all of which make it a perfect home for Bitcoin and blockchain technology. […] We’re at the dawn of a new evolution where money itself is being reinvented.”
Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), said that Unocoin has emerged as one of the fastest growing companies in DCG’s global portfolio. DCG, which is based in New York, invests in Bitcoin and blockchain companies and has over 80 investments in more than 25 countries.
Karthik Reddy, managing partner at Blume Ventures, said that it was Unocoin’s determination to educate all stakeholders, its mission to simplify bitcoin’s usage and bring another frictionless layer to payments and e-commerce that lead the firm to invest in the startup. “We are confident that Unocoin will further alter the landscape and make additional inroads into remittances and e-commerce in India,” said Reddy.
According to Simon Dixon, CEO of Bank To The Future and fund manager of Bitcoin Capital, India’s large population of unbanked and underbanked makes it the perfect market for Bitcoin. “We believe Bitcoin has a role to play in India in the long term and are happy to join the round of the leading bitcoin company in India,” said Dixon.
Founded in 2013, Unocoin operates one of the top bitcoin exchange platforms in India, serving over 100,000 users across the globe and processing more than INR 200 million (US$3 million) worth of transactions every month.
“When we got started four years ago, we saw a once in a lifetime opportunity to build out a secure platform for people to easily access bitcoin,” said Sunny Ray, co-founder of president of Unocoin. “We knew that Bitcoin was going to be a big deal. Bitcoin opens up a world that simply wasn’t possible before.”
“We started this company with the mission to bring bitcoin to billions. […] In the future, we believe that bitcoin has the potential to take market share from gold, substantially reduce the cost of remittance and potentially bank the unbanked.”
Over the past year, Unocoin has developed and launched a number of new products including a merchant point-of-sale app, a mobile trading app, an auto-selling feature for remittance users, the Bitcoin Systematic Investment Plan to mitigate against volatility risk, an over the counter desk for large traders, an API for developers, among others. Unocoin has also integrated with NETKI to simplify bitcoin addresses and integrated with purse.io for discounts on Amazon.
The company plans to add more practical, useful features and tools in the near future.