VALR, a leading cryptocurrency exchange in South Africa, announced that it has raised US$ 3.4M (R 57M) in its Series A equity round of funding.
The Series A round was led by 100x Ventures, which is the investment arm of 100x Group, who are behind cryptocurrency trading platform, BitMEX. The round also included participation from 4DiCapital, and CEO of FNB, Michael Jordan and US-based crypto currency exchange company Bittrex. The funds raised will be used to advance the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
The recent round makes VALR’s total funding raised to date stand at R 79M, including an equity funding seed round of US $1.2M (R 20M) in July 2018.
Founded in 2018, VALR launched to bridge the gap between the traditional financial system and the new world of cryptocurrencies.
In June 2019, VALR launched bitcoin-rand trading. Since then, it has grown to become one of South Africa’s leading bitcoin trading platforms. Currently, VALR enables over 40,000 customers to purchase and sell, at the lowest fees in the market. VALR provides access to more than 50 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ether.
Statements from VALR and the investors
Farzam Ehsani, CEO and co-founder of VALR, said that he is very grateful for the success of the round. The round occurred during a challenging COVID-19 pandemic which 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,” said Ehsani.
The proceeds from the funding will be used to build new products and services, and expand into new territories. It will also continue to build its team of professionals. It will focus particularly in the technology, regulatory and compliance, and client service domains.
Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-Founder of 100x Group, said, “South Africa has an incredibly exciting and fast-growing cryptocurrency ecosystem. We believe VALR is well-placed to capitalise on future growth of bitcoin trading. We’re backing not only a successful early stage business, but a management team with the ability to scale operations significantly.”
Justin Stanford, co-founding General Partner at 4Di Capital, also commented on the growth of the crypto-asset ecosystem in South Africa. He explained that 4Di had been looking for an appropriate investment in the crypto sector for many years. It is delighted to back such a high-quality business and management team. “VALR has shown great integrity and leadership coupled with impressive growth, and delivers a mature, institutional-grade offering to the local market. This is becoming a necessary component in all markets the world over, as the crypto-asset ecosystem becomes increasingly more accepted and integrated into the global financial system,” said Stanford.