Indian bitcoin exchange and wallet provider Zebpay is reportedly in talks to raise $4 million in funding from domestic and international investors.
Zebpay, a bitcoin services firm with offices in India and Singapore is in talks to raise what would be a record round of funding for a bitcoin startup in the country, according to local publication TechCircle.
Saurabh Agarwal, chief executive and co-founder of the bitcoin company revealed Pantera Capital, a prolific US-based bitcoin investment firm has shown interest in the funding round. The funding round will be led by an unnamed Indian venture capital firm, the executive added.
The investment round will seek to raise funds to directly invest in upgrading the company’s server and cybersecurity infrastructure to help facilitate large trade volumes, according to the report. Furthermore, Zebpay will also allocate the funds for operations and marketing purposes in a country where the government recently triggered an unprecedented cash-freeze that is disrupting a billion-strong population.
Furthermore, Agarwal added that the company is working with one of the so-called ‘big four’ consulting firms to help push for better bitcoin regulations in India where there is currently none.
Zebpay previously raised $ 1 million in a round of funding from several regional investors earlier this year, with the primary motive to promote bitcoin in the country.
Bitcoin and Blockchain Initiatives on the Rise
Home to the world’s largest youth population that is predominantly technologically-savvy, India also sees a high rate of smartphone adoption among its masses. As the world’s largest remittance receiver, the country represents a tremendous market for bitcoin adoption. It is then unsurprising that Unocoin, another bitcoin exchange and wallet provider raised a record $1.5 million in funding earlier in September having acquired over 100,000 customers and bitcoin users since its launch in early 2014.
As the world’s leading IT and software services hub, India is also seeing a rampant increase in blockchain development in the country, for applications within its borders and beyond. TCS, a prominent IT consulstancy with global clients is reportedly developing over a 100 blockchain projects with several pilots already underway.
Regional financial institutions are also getting into the act of leveraging bitcoin’s underlying technology. ICICI Bank, a leading private sector lender revealed two successful blockchain pilots in partnership with Dubai banking institution Emirates NBD, one of which showcased a real-time remittance transfer between India and the Emirate nation. Within days, two other private banks revealed that they had also completed blockchain pilots.
Images from Shutterstock.