BENGALURU: Bitcoin wallet startup Zebpay is in talks to secure Series-A funding of $4-5 million and expects to close the investment by next month, according to one of its founders Saurabh Agrawal. Agrawal said the company is in talks with several Indian investors and that a US-based venture capital fund, which focuses on blockchain technology, has also evinced interest. This will be the second investment the company will have closed this year.
In a seed round in January, Zebpay had raised $1 million. The bitcoin space in India is in the nascent stage but has started getting investor attention. Last month, Bengaluru-based bitcoin exchange startup Unocoin raised $1.5 million in an investment round led by Blume Ventures and saw participation from several US investors including Digital Currency Group, Boost VC, Bank to the Future, and FundersClub.
Unocoin said it was the largest funding so far for a bitcoin startup in the country. The company, which provides a mobile wallet for bitcoin as well as a mobile exchange to convert Indian currency to bitcoins, has 1,30,000 users and is adding 20,000 more each month. “More people are getting aware and using bitcoin now. We have crossed Rs 365 crore in turnover this month,” Agrawal said. Unocoin co founder Sathvik Vishwanath said trading in bitcoins has picked up and its adoption as a payment method is growing.
Another bitcoin startup, Coinsecure, raised $1.2 million in April and is in the process of raising another $3.5-3.8 million in the next few months, cofounder Benson Samuel said. Arpit Agarwal, investor at Blume Ventures who led the investment in Unocoin, described bitcoin as the “only reasonable answer to the problems of money”, at least in the short term. “This is our thesis behind backing entrepreneurs who have the understanding of bitcoin,” he said.