Cape Town crypto exchange OVEX raises second funding round

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Cape Town-based cryptocurrency exchange OVEX has raised a second undisclosed amount of funding for the year, this time from Invictus Capital.

OVEX allows South Africans to buy and sell over 18 digital assets, and has also rolled out a new type of interest account that offers users the chance to earn up to seven per cent interest on their crypto balances.

The startup secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Newtown Partners, co-managed by Vinny Lingham, the Shark Tank investor and chief executive officer (CEO) of blockchain identity firm Civic, in April, and has now followed that up with additional investment from Invictus Capital.

Invictus Capital founded CRYPTO20, the world’s first tokenised index fund, which peaked at US$164 million in January 2018. The firm subsequently launched two additional funds, the CRYPTO10 Hedged fund, and the Invictus Hyperion fund, through which it has invested in OVEX.

“The team behind Ovex have been working for well over a year to provide the South African and international crypto-to-crypto market with a truly world-class product. The outcome thus far is a truly superior exchange with differentiated features catering directly to their user base,” Invictus Capital said.

“Ovex will be launching their marketing campaign shortly to ramp up their user acquisition. The focus over the coming months will be predominantly on growth and scaling their business.”

The two companies have apparently formed a close strategic partnership, and are interacting on a daily basis.

“The two firms aim to utilise existing synergies to help leverage their presence in the industry and bring some competition to an otherwise monopolised market,” Invictus Capital said.

OVEX CEO Jonathan Ovadia said at the time of the Newtown Partners investment that the startup was proud of the offering it had built.

“Our goal is to provide the South African market with a world-class product and more importantly world-class liquidity. We have developed an exchange for all types of crypto enthusiasts, with an advanced trading interface as well as a simple one-click buy or sell option,” he said.

Through the use of artificial intelligence and a partnership with Lingham’s Civic, OVEX users who wish to withdraw more than ZAR20,000 (US$1,400) are able to verify their identity in a matter of minutes. OVEX has also secured a partnership with the San Francisco-based coin TrueUSD, which allows OVEX users to purchase TUSD at the bank rates and have it deposited directly into their OVEX account wallet. This means OVEX users can buy cryptocurrency at international rates.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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