Unocoin, a Bengaluru-based bitcoin startup, has raised $1.5 million in funding from a mix of Indian and U.S. investors, the company announced on Thursday. This is Unocoin’s second after a previous seed round, and the investors who participated in this round are — ah! Ventures, Blume Ventures (which led the round) and Mumbai Angels, as well as BoostVC, BnkToTheFuture, Digital Currency Group and FundersClub.
The startup, which runs a trading platform to securely buy, sell, store, use and accept bitcoin for Indian customers, said the money raised was the largest for an Indian bitcoin startup.
The funds raised will be used by the company for a variety of purposes, including providing liquidity to its marketplace as well as scaling the exchange’s operations both in India and abroad. One possible avenue would be to use some of the funds to market the exchange more effectively within India’s major cities.
Unocoin, which was founded in 2013 by Harish B V and Abhinand Kaseti, raised about $250,000 in its first financing round in August 2014. The startup started from a small hometown called Tumkur, near Bengaluru. The startup currently has 100,000 users and more than 30 employees.
Bitcoin in India
In late 2013, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a warning to local consumers about the risks of using digital currencies. At the time, the central bank said that bitcoin were not backed by any central authority and that it had not granted approval to companies working in the space. Following this RBI warning bitcoin operators in the country began suspending operations.
In 2014, Indian government along with RBI was exploring digital currencies.
In a most recent statement of the RBI told that the central bank’s stance on these currencies has not changed. So, IndianWeb2 does not recommend buying bitcoins for investment purposes or otherwise.