FalconX, CoinDCX Hit Unicorn Status Amid Uncertain Regulatory Environment

Two crypto exchange platforms achieve unicorn status as contradictory regulatory remarks on digital assets continues.

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BLOCKWORKS EXCLUSIVE ART BY AXEL RANGEL

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key takeaways

  • CoinDCX scored $90 million funding, bringing its valuation to $1.1 billion
  • FalconX raised $210 million in a Series C round, quintupling its valuation in less than six months.

Despite the cloud of regulation hanging above digital assets markets in India and some parts of Asia, investment continues to pour into crypto infrastructure around the continent. 

Cryptocurrency exchange platform CoinDCX, scored $90 million in Series C funding, benchmarking it as India’s first crypto-related unicorn, while FalconX raised $210 million in Series C funding to expand into Asia according to recent announcements.

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm, B Capital Group, led the equity round that brought CoinDCX’s valuation to $1.1 billion. 

Prior to achieving unicorn status, CoinDCX, has faced a slew of regulatory scrutiny from the country’s government and other financial authorities over the past year.

A Timeline of India’s Contradictory Regulations

  • Back in March, Blockworks reported India’s government would “propose a law banning cryptocurrencies, fining anyone trading in the country or even holding such digital assets.” However, India’s Minister of Finance later backtracked on his remarks, saying that the government would leave “a window” open for bitcoin.
  • In July, the Dehli High Court of India issued a plea to the country’s Securities and Exchange Board which called for “standardized disclaimers” on cryptocurrency-related advertising, according to a report from The New Indian Express. 
  • “Having a disclaimer on screen after the end of the advertisement with voice over in English and Hindi… may instil wisdom of researching and reading up on the risk profiles surrounding crypto-assets prior to investing [their] hard-earned money in digital assets not understood by [them],” part of the plea stated.

On Tuesday, India’s government said they would further crackdown on crypto use, according to The Economic Times.

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said he would try to eliminate the use of “crypto-assets” as funding “illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system”.

“The government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Chaudhary said.

Tiger Global leads FalconX’s funding round while eyeing Asian markets

FalconX raised $210 million in Series C funding, the cryptocurrency trading platform announced Tuesday. The latest raise quintupled FalconX’s valuation to $3.75 billion in the round led (in part) by Tiger Global, Chief Executive Officer Raghu Yarlagadda said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The California-based platform is targeting Asian markets with leaders of the funding found including Tiger Global Management.

According to Bloomberg, Tiger Global holds over $8 billion in US ADRs on Chinese companies, as of March. 

“As institutional investors continue entering the cryptocurrency market, FalconX has significantly scaled its business and product lines to meet their needs. We’re excited to double down on the leading one-stop shop for institutional trading, credit, and clearing,” said Tiger Global partner Scott Shleifer.

The series was also led by Altimeter Capital, B Capital Group, Sapphire Ventures. Other notable participants include Mirae Asset and Amex Ventures.

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