Twitter, Tesla and Skype's early investor Tim Draper bets on Indian cryptocurrency exchange

Tim Draper website
  • Unocoin – which claims to be India’s first cryptocurrency exchange – is looking to ramp up its offerings following the lifting of the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on digital asset trading.
  • The $5 million round was led by Tim Draper’s Draper Associates, with participation from XBTO Ventures and 2020 Ventures, and takes Unocoin’s valuation to $20 million.
  • Draper – the billionaire entrepreneur who has invested in Skype, Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter – is known to be one of the most prominent faces of Silicon Valley.
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American billionaire Tim Draper has invested in Indian cryptocurrency exchange firm Unocoin. The $5 million round was led by Tim Draper’s Draper Associates, with participation from XBTO Ventures and 2020 Ventures, and takes Unocoin’s valuation to $20 million.

Unocoin – which claims to be India’s first cryptocurrency exchange – is looking to ramp up its offerings following the lifting of the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on digital asset trading. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase of crypto adoption in India following the lifting of an industry-wide ban by the Reserve Bank of India enacted in 2018. Customer growth rates have surged by more than 10X in the month the Supreme Court verdict was announced, accompanied by a 5X increase in trading volume in subsequent months,” said Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Unocoin, in a statement.

With the latest funds in the bank, the startup now plans to scale its operations, build a stronger technology team, and enhance its product infrastructure amongst other things. “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,” said Vishwanath.

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Draper – the billionaire entrepreneur who has invested in Skype, Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter – is known to be one of the most prominent faces of Silicon Valley. He also runs the famous Draper University for entrepreneurs.

“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 Draper.

Earlier Indian VC firm Blume Ventures had signed up with the Draper Venture Network. And, he had begun investing through Blume Ventures. But that’s not where Draper’s connections with India end.

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His other VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson had an Indian arm which invested in Cleartrip, electric vehicle manufacturer Reva and more. However, he exited India in 2016 after selling the entire portfolio to Hong Kong-based NewQuest Capital Partners.


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