A16z is getting more likely to fund its first investment in an Indian startup. They are the second-largest internet market globally that has produced around two dozen unicorns this year.
The Menlo Park-based firm is in the final stages of talks to finance in Indian crypto trading startup CoinSwitch Kuber, three sources intimate with the subject told TechCrunch. The expected deal values the Bangalore-based firm at approximately $2 billion, two sources told. Coinbase is also investing in the new round, one of the sources said.
CoinSwitch Kuber was estimated at over $500 million in a round in April this year when it raised $25 million from Tiger Global. If the deal with A16z emerges, it will be CoinSwitch Kuber’s third funding round of 2021.
TechCrunch also reported last week that CoinSwitch Kuber was in talks to raise its Series C funding at up to $2 billion valuation. The report, which didn’t identify a lead investor, noted that the Indian startup had been involved with Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase in recent weeks.
The startup denied to make any comment. Coinbase and A16z as well as existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital India did not reply to requests for comment on this topic. It is expected to be announced by the end of September officially.
The investment conversations come at a time when CoinSwitch Kuber has more than doubled its user base in past months — even as local officials push back against crypto assets. Their app had over 10 million users in India the month of August, up from about 4 million in April this year, the startup announced in a newspaper advertisement over the weekend.
Policymakers in India have been arguing about the situation of digital currencies in the South Asian market for some years now. India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, has shown concerns about private virtual currencies though it is also planning to run n experimental program of its first digital currency as soon as December 2021.