The largest South African cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume VALR has secured 57 million Rands ($3.4 million) in Series A equity round to fuel cryptocurrency adoption in the country.VALR announced the news in a blog post published on Tuesday, July 21. The funding round was led by 100x Venures, the investment arm of newly created 100x group by the operator of crypto exchange BitMEX, HDR Global Trading. Other contributors include South African venture firm 4Di Capital, US-based crypto exchange Bittrex, and former CEO of FirstRand’s First National Bank (FNB), Michael Jordaan.
VALR, founded in 2018, is the country’s leading bitcoin trading platform with over 13,000 bitcoin traded over the last month. The exchange allows its more than 40,000 customers to buy and sell more than 50 cryptocurrency at the lowest price in the market.
With fresh capital in place, VALR aims to expand in to new territories across South Africa, launch new products and services such as derivatives trading and lending, and strengthen its team, particularly in the technology, regulatory and compliance, and client service domains.
VALR has raised 79 million Rands ($4.78 million) to date, including an equity funding seed round of 20 million Rands in July 2018. Farzam Ehsani, CEO and Co-Founder of VALR, commented:
“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.”
The leader of this funding round 100x Ventures is an investment arm of a newly created holding structure 100x Group for the parent company of BitMEX exchange, HDR Global Trading.
Arthur Hayes, CEO and co-founder of 100x Group, stated:
“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. In VALR 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, said:
“At 4Di we have been looking for an appropriate investment in the crypto sector for some years, and we are delighted to be backing 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.”
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