It is the new, informed and young customers that are flocking the crypto-selling platforms in the country after the Supreme Court in March last year overturned the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on cryptocurrencies. “The average age of a crypto investor is about 24. It is a very young demography. And for more than 65% of our users, crypto is the first asset class that they are investing in besides having a bank fixed deposit,” says Ashish Singhal, co-founder and CEO, CoinSwitch Kuber—a cryptocurrency exchange platform with over nine million registered users. Singhal adds that the average age of a stock investor in India is 32, while for a mutual fund investor it is 28.
Started in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni, and Vimal Sagar, CoinSwitch was launched as a global aggregator of crypto exchanges. The startup launched its India operations in June 2020. Before that, it was focusing on overseas markets.
“We wanted to make investment in crypto simple. We wanted to remove all the complexities in crypto trading, educate consumers and give them a simplified experience of one-click buy and sell in crypto,” says Singhal—who points out that the startup’s 60% of users in India are from tier II and III cities, including places such as Palia [in Uttar Pradesh], Meerut and others. “From tier I cities we have a user base of 40%, tier II 36% and tier III 24%. And people from over 200 cities in India are investing in crypto through our platform,” he adds.
Singhal explains that the average ticket size of crypto investments on its platform varies between tier I, II and III cities. “The average ticket size in crypto investment is about ₹9,000 per month per user. It varies drastically between cities. In tier I, the average ticket size is about ₹11,600, tier II about ₹6,600 and tier III about ₹3,500 per month per user.”
CoinSwitch Kuber—which is backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Paradigm, Kunal Shah, founder, CRED, and Tiger Global Management—was valued at about $500 million during its last funding round in February this year.
Last year, despite the raging pandemic, the cryptocurrency industry in India witnessed a meteoric growth according to Singhal. “The industry recorded a 200% to 300% growth month-on-month last year. Currently, the crypto industry in India is seeing over 100% growth month-on-month growth,” he says, adding that the startup onboarded over one million local users within six months of its platform launch in India.
CoinSwitch Kuber claims to have a monthly active user base of over five-and-a half million and a monthly traded user base of about two million. Going forward, the startup is looking to build a business beyond just crypto. “We want to go into traditional finance and merge crypto as an asset class to stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded fund (ETFs) and bonds and give retail customers a comprehensive investment portfolio management on our platform,” says Singhal.