SA crypto exchange VALR raises $50m Series B to expand across Africa

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South African cryptocurrency exchange VALR has raised a US$50 million Series B funding round that values the company at US$240 million, and will use the proceeds to expand across the continent.

Launched in 2019, VALR is a digital asset platform that allows customers to buy, sell, store and transfer Bitcoin and 60 other cryptocurrencies – the widest selection of any platform in Africa – seamlessly and securely. It has so far processed over US$7.5 billion in trading volume, and serves over 250,000 retail customers and 500 institutional clients from across the world.

The startup raised its Series A in 2020, and its oversubscribed US$50 million Series B funding round was led by Pantera Capital with participation from Alameda Research, Cadenza, CMT Digital, Coinbase Ventures, Distributed Global, GSR, Third Prime and Avon Ventures, along with existing investors Bittrex and 4Di Capital, and others.

VALR will use the funding primarily to expand across Africa and into other emerging markets such as India, and to bring more products and services to its growing base of global customers. The startup is also hiring extensively across all areas of its team.

“Society’s financial tools should unite us, not divide us. That’s why I’m very excited that VALR is helping to build a financial system that recognises the oneness of the human race. There is no longer any room for doubt regarding the impact crypto assets are having on our global financial system,” said Farzam Ehsani, VALR’s CEO and co-founder. 

“We already help VALR’s customers enter this new world of crypto from the traditional financial system using their USD or ZAR and I’m very excited that this round of funding will allow us to serve so many more across Africa and the world.”

Paul Veradittakit, partner at Pantera Capital, said he was excited to lead the Series B round.

“We believe that Africa’s future is bright for the adoption of cryptocurrencies for both asset diversification and payments,” he said. “VALR brings an amazing product and service to onboard both retail customers and institutions.”

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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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