Crypto exchange Vauld raises $2mn for India expansion

Narendar Kapur | VC Circle

29 December, 2020

The Singapore- and Bengaluru-based company, which is registered as DEFI Technologies Pte Ltd, has raised this capital from a clutch of investors. These include Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, CMT Digital, Gumi Cryptos Capital and LuneX Ventures

Other participants in this round include Robert Leshner- and Taun Chitra-managed Robot Ventures, CoinShares, Better Capital, New Form Capital, and IntoTheBlock CEO Jesus Rodrigues, Vauld said in a statement.

Prior to this, the company in June raised $500,000 from Singapore-based LuneX Ventures and a few India-based angel investors.

Vauld was set up by Darshan Bathija and Sanju Sony Kurian. The company’s platform allows users to lend various cryptocurrencies and earn interest on them. It is also seeking to become a holistic DeFi platform that will offer payments, credit, and trading.

“We also look forward to closely working with the commodities and banking regulators in the country and ensure our partners are and remain fully compliant through the changing regulatory landscape,” Bathija said.

It will use the capital it has raised to focus on hiring and expanding its presence in India, as well as expand to underpenetrated markets and promote the adoption of digital tokens and cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class.

“Vauld’s vision is to make cryptocurrency the preferred instrument of banking by making it simple to use and interoperable with the current banking infrastructure,” Pantera Capital partner Paul Veradittakit said.

Deals in cryptocurrency and blockchain space

The segment received a strong fillip from the Supreme Court in March, when it struck down a ban on transactions in the space by the Reserve Bank of India. The ban had led to a severe fall in trade volumes and exchanges shutting their businesses.

Earlier this month, cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX raised Rs 100 crore (around $13.53 million) in a Series B fundraising exercise. The round was led by blockchain software company Block.one, with other participants including DG, Jump Capital, Uncorrelated Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures.

In October, Unocoin raised funding from a clutch of investors including billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper’s Draper Associates as part of a Series A funding round. While it did not disclose the amount raised, it said it was targeting a $5 million fundraise.

Binance Holdings Ltd and Indian startup WazirX in March jointly launched an India-focussed fund to incubate and invest in blockchain projects and startups in the country. The Blockchain for India fund has a corpus of $50 million.

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