VALR, one of South Africa’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, has secured 57 million rands (around $3.4 million) in a recently closed Series A funding round.
Announced on Tuesday, the round was led by 100x Ventures, the investment arm of newly created BitMEX’s parent 100x Group, along with participation from South African venture capital 4Di Capital. Existing investors of the exchange, including Bittrex and Michael Jordaan, former CEO of FirstRand’s First National Bank, also extended their support in the latest funding round.
“I am very grateful that despite the challenging global COVID-19 pandemic that has adversely affected many businesses around the world, VALR has been able to grow at a phenomenal pace and we’ve been able to raise funds and partner with a set of world-class investors, adding to our already distinguished group of shareholders,” Farzam Ehsani, VALR CEO and co-founder said in an official statement.
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Africa is an untapped crypto market
Established in 2018, VALR initiated crypto trading services the next year. In around a year of services, the exchange has handled trading of 13,000 Bitcoins and currently has over 40,000 customers on-board.
The crypto exchange also detailed that the fresh proceeds will be utilized to build new products and services, expand into new territories, and continue to build its team of professionals, particularly in the technology, regulatory and compliance, and client service domains.
Apart from the latest round, the exchange also raised 20 million rands (over $1.21 million) in a seed round closed in July 2018, taking the total funding to 79 million rands ($4.79 million).
“South Africa has an incredibly exciting and fast-growing cryptocurrency ecosystem, and we believe VALR is well-placed to capitalize on future growth of bitcoin trading,” Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-founder at 100x Group, added. “In VALR we’re backing not only a successful early-stage business, but a management team with the ability to scale operations significantly.”