Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber valued at $1.9 bln after fund raise

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Representations of the Ripple, bitcoin, etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

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BENGALURU, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinSwitch Kuber said on Wednesday it had raised over $260 million at a valuation of $1.9 billion, underscoring the rise in popularity of crypto trading in the country even as government policy remains unclear.

The new funding round included new investors such as venture capital firms Coinbase Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, and existing investors Paradigm, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global, CoinSwitch said.

India's digital currency market has grown from $923 million in April 2020 to $6.6 billion in May 2021, according to Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform. read more

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CoinSwitch, which competes with cryptocurrency platforms including WazirX and CoinDCX in India, has over 10 million users in the country with a monthly active user base of over seven million.

The company added it was now the country's largest crypto asset platform. Reuters could not independently verify the claim.

CoinSwitch said it would use the funds to onboard 50 million Indians on its platform and roll out new products.

Bengaluru-based CoinSwitch, founded in 2017, was launched as a global aggregator of crypto exchanges. It started its India operations in June last year.

This was Andreessen Horowitz's first investment in India, with the firm launching a new $2.2 billion fund in June to invest more money in crypto networks. read more

India was set to present a bill to parliament by March this year that proposed a ban on cryptocurrencies, making trading and holding them illegal, but the bill was not tabled.

Local media had also reported the government was looking to tax cryptocurrency trades and ecosystem in the country. read more

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Reporting by Rama Venkat and Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Krishna Chandra Eluri

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