New $150m funding round values Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin at $10bn amidst soaring investment in ‘web3’ ventures
Cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has raised $150 million (£122m) in a series B funding round, valuing the company at $10bn, the company said on Tuesday.
KuCoin, which says it has 18 million users in more than 200 countries, is the sixth-largest crypto exchange in the world by trade volume, according to Coingecko, with $4.7bn in spot trades over a 24-hour period as of Tuesday.
The company plans to use the funding to expand beyond centralised trading services and increase its presence in web3, a next-generation vision for the internet that is decentralised and based on blockchains.
The Seychelles-based firm said it would boost its investment portfolio of crypto wallets, play-to-earn games, decentralised finance and NFT platforms, as well as improving its Ethereum-based public blockchain.
‘Vote of confidence’
The round was led by Jump Crypto, the investment arm of US proprietary trading firm Jump Trading, with other investors including Circle Ventures, the VC vehicle of stablecoin issuer Circle, and investment firms IDG Capital and Matrix Partners.
“The vote of confidence from prominent investors, including Jump Crypto and Circle Ventures, solidifies our vision that one day everyone will be with crypto,” said KuCoin co-founder and chief executive Johnny Lyu in a statement.
“KuCoin is built for all classes of investors, and we believe these new investors and partners will contribute to making KuCoin synonymous with a reliable and trustworthy gateway into crypto space.”
KuCoin was founded in Singapore in 2017 as a crypto exchange, but has since expanded into areas such as lending and NFT trading, as well as establishing an investment arm that focuses on crypto and blockchain projects.
Crypto investment boom
The company was hit by one of the biggest crypto thefts in history in 2020, when it reported the some $280m worth of Bitcoin and other tokens had been stolen. This represented more than half of all cryptocurrencies stolen that year, according to Chainalysis.
Chainalysis later said the theft had probably been carried out by the North Korean hacking group Lazarus Group.
Private investments in crypto firms have jumped this year in spite of a slump in the value of Bitcoin and other digital assets.
Venture capital investments in such projects reached $10bn worldwide in the first quarter of 2022, more than double the level of the same period a year earlier, according to Pitchbook.
In the meantime Bitcoin on Tuesday dropped to its lowest level since July 2021, according to Coingecko. The cryptocurrency is currently trading at around $31,000, down more than 50 percent from its peak of more than $68,000 last November.