Crypto exchange operator KuCoin raises $150M at $10B valuation

Crypto exchange operator KuCoin raises $150M at $10B valuation

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KuCoin, a startup that operates one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, has closed a $150 million funding round at a $10 billion valuation.

Jump Crypto led the round, which was announced today. Several other investors including Circle Ventures, IDG Capital and Matrix Partners participated as well. KuCoin’s new $10 billion valuation is 100 times higher than the valuation it received after its previous $20 million funding round in late 2018. 

“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 Chief Executive Officer Johnny Lyu. “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.”

Seychelles-based KuCoin operates a crypto exchange of the same name that has more than 18 million users. KuCoin enables users to trade over 700 digital assets. Over the last few years, the startup has expanded its focus to adjacent areas including lending and nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, that represent ownership of a digital asset.

KuCoin last month debuted an NFT launch platform designed to help users more easily buy, sell and withdraw NFT assets. Earlier, the startup established a $100 Million Creators Fund to support early-stage NFT projects.

KuCoin also operates a venture capital arm, KuCoin Ventures, through which it makes investments in Web3 technologies. TechCrunch reported today that the startup’s venture arm has a “couple hundred million U.S. dollars” in assets under management.  

KuCoin will use the newly announced $150 million funding round to establish a presence in yet more areas. In particular, the startup plans to increase its focus on the Web3 ecosystem. KuCoin stated that it will prioritize “crypto wallets, GameFi, DeFi and NFT platforms” as part of the strategy.

KuCoin is also planning upgrades to its flagship crypto exchange. The startup is developing a new iteration of the exchange’s core trading system that will be capable of processing transactions 10 times faster than before.

KuCoin is one of several crypto exchange operators to have raised funding since the start of the year. FTX Trading Ltd. closed a $400 million round in January. More recently, Blockchain.com Inc. raised an undisclosed amount of funding at a $14 billion valuation in March.

Overall, venture capital firms invested $29.3 billion in the financial technology segment during the first quarter, according to PitchBook Data Inc. research released last week. An estimated 1,233 venture capital deals were closed during the first three months of 2022. 

Image: KuCoin

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