The A16z is approaching its first investment in a start-up company in India, the second largest internet market in the world that has produced more than two dozen unicorns this year.
The Menlo Park headquarters is in the final stages of talks to invest in Indian cryptocurrency startup CoinSwitch Kuber, three sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. The proposed deal values the Bangalore-based company at $ 1.9 billion, two sources said. Coinbase is also investing in the new round, said one source.
The CoinSwitch Kuber was valued at more than $ 500 million in one round in April of this year, when it raised $ 25 million from Tiger Global. If the agreement with A16z is implemented, it will be CoinSwitch Kuber ‘s third round of funding this year.
TechCrunch reported last week that CoinSwitch Kuber is in talks to increase Series C funding to $ 2 billion. The report, which did not identify the main investor, noted that the Indian start-up had been engaged with Andreessen Horowitz and Coinbase in recent weeks.
Ordinary warnings apply: the terms of the proposed agreement may change or the talks may not reach an agreement. The writer mentionted some details about the deal on wednesday.
The newly formed company declined to comment. Coinbase and A16z as well as existing investors Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital India did not respond to requests for comment.
The investment talks come at a time when CoinSwitch Kuber has more than doubled its user base in recent months – even as local authorities oppose cryptocurrencies. The app of the same name had more than 10 million users in India last month, up from about 4 million in April this year, the start-up said in a newspaper ad at the weekend.
A handful of start-up cryptocurrencies in India have shown rapid growth in recent years – keeping their CACs impressively very low – as millions of millennials in the South Asian country begin their investment journeys. Several funds, including those with a large presence in India, such as Accel, Lightspeed, WEH and Kalaari, have recently begun working on their dissertation support for cryptocurrencies, TechCrunch reported earlier.
B Capital backed CoinDCX, a rival to CoinSwitch Kuber, which garnered 3.5 million users, last month in a $ 90 million round that valued CoinDCX at about $ 1.1 billion.
Policy makers in India have been discussing the state of digital currencies in the South Asian market for several years. The central bank of India, the Reserve Bank of India, has expressed concerns about private virtual currencies, although it plans to launch test programs of its first digital currency in December.
About 27 Indian start-ups have become unicorns this year, up from 11 last year, as several high-profile investors – and Andreessen Horowitz global peers – such as Tiger Global and Coatue – increased their investment in the South Asian market. Apna announced earlier on Thursday that it had raised $ 100 million in a $ 1.1 billion round of Tiger Global, making it the youngest Indian company to achieve unicorn status.
Groww, an investment app for millennials, is in talks to raise a new $ 3 billion funding round, TechCrunch said on Wednesday. The start-up has partnered with Coatue in recent days, the report said.