The gold rush continues for start-ups in the country. CoinSwitch Kuber, a cryptocurrency exchange platform on Wednesday said that it has raised over $260 million in a Series C funding round from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Coinbase Ventures and existing investors Paradigm, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global. The latest funding valued the company at $1.9 billion, making it the latest entrant to the coveted unicorn club—which are privately-held companies that have reached a valuation of $1 billion, or more.

CoinSwitch Kuber is the second unicorn this week after Bengaluru-based meat and seafood brand Licious on Tuesday raised $52 million at a valuation beyond $1 billion.

Started in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni, and Vimal Sagar, CoinSwitch was launched as a global aggregator of crypto exchanges in 2017. The startup launched its India operations in June 2020. Before that, it was focusing on overseas markets. The crypto startup was valued at about $500 million during its last funding round in February this year. The cryptocurrency exchange platform currently serves over 10 million Indian customers.

“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 Ashish Singhal, co-founder and CEO, CoinSwitch Kuber in a statement.

Last year despite the raging pandemic the cryptocurrency industry in India witnessed a meteoric rise recording a 200% to 300% growth month-on-month.

Besides the big-ticket funding round, the day also saw funding announcements from various tech start-ups inducing education technology (edtech), software as a service (SaaS), cloud and others.

Higher learning edtech startup Sunstone Eduversity said that it has raised $28 million in a Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital. Existing investors Saama Capital, Alteria Capital and Work10m also participated in the round. The company will use the capital to invest in cutting-edge learning and technology assets, building a network of colleges across multiple cities, and hiring across different functions.

Founded by IMT-Ghaziabad alumnus Ashish Munjal and Piyush Nangru, Sunstone offers higher education programmes in partnership with multiple colleges and private universities. The edtech startup has a presence in 24 campuses across 18 cities including GD Goenka University, JECRC University, Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology and others.

The other early-stage funding announcements of the day was from Qapita—a provider of equity management SaaS solutions—which raised $15 million in a Series A funding round co-led by East Ventures (Growth Fund) and Vulcan Capital, with participation from NYCA and other existing investors. The startup has previously raised $7.25 million in earlier rounds of funding. Qapita plans to utilise the capital to add more products to its platform.

Ozonetel, a provider of on-demand cloud communication services, also announced its funding round on Wednesday. The startup raised $5 million in a Series A funding round from Stakeboat Capital, a Bengaluru-based private equity fund.

The fresh capital will be used to expand the start-up’s U.S. operations and double its headcount in the coming year, Ozonetel noted in a statement. The company’s cloud telephony platform currently handles more than 10 million calls per day. The start-up claims that more than 10,000 developers use its platform to integrate voice, SMS, WhatsApp and other communication channels into their products.

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