Home / Companies / News /  Top CoinSwitch execs quit to start new web3 venture

Crypto unicorn CoinSwitch Kuber’s chief financial officer Sarmad Nazki, chief business officer Sharan Nair and head of new initiatives Krishna Hegde have resigned from the company, the firm confirmed in a statement today. The three will be leaving the firm on August 5 and are exploring a new web3 venture of their own.

A source familiar with the matter said that the new venture is still in very early stages of development, and the three haven’t worked out the particulars at the moment.

“After several years of building CoinSwitch, my colleagues and good friends Sharan Nair, Sarmad Nazki and Krishna Hegde have decided to start up in the Web 3 space," Ashish Singhal, co-founder and chief executive officer of CoinSwitch confirmed in a statement.

The company had hired Ramesh Bafna as its new CFO last month. Bafna is an 18-year industry veteran, who has worked at companies like Myntra and Flipkart earlier. Rishav Dev, who worked with Hegde at the firm as vice president of New Initiatives, will lead new verticals. Last year, CoinSwitch had said that it will expand into traditional investment products.

“We are super passionate about Crypto and we believe it is here to stay. We will continue to take guidance from the CoinSwitch team, which has been my home turf for the last four plus years as we build India into the Web3 hub of the world," Nair said in a statement.

CoinSwitch Kuber became a crypto unicorn in October last year, after raising $260 million from US-based venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz (a16z) and Coinbase Ventures. At the time, the company was valued at $1.9 billion and it was the second crypto unicorn in India after competitor CoinDCX. 

The three top executives’ resignation also comes at a time when the crypto market is experiencing an extended bear phase. Crypto platforms like CoinSwitch are experiencing depressed trading volumes amid big falls in the prices of cryptocurrencies, and the Indian government levying new taxes on virtual digital assets (VDAs).

According to data from Credit Rating for Exchanges Blockchains and Coin Offerings (CREBACO), a crypto research firm, daily trading volumes on WazirX and CoinDCX, two of the top crypto exchanges in India, fell by 82% and 90%, respectively, at the end of June. CoinSwitch, too, has been looking at reduced trading volumes.

The three executives aren’t the first to venture out of crypto exchanges to look at the larger web3 space either. In February, WazirX founder Nishcal Shetty joined hands with blockchain architect Omar Syed to launch a new venture called Shardeum.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Prasid Banerjee

An engineering dropout, Prasid Banerjee has reported on technology in India for various publications. He reports on technology through text and audio, focusing on its core aspects, like consumer impact, policy and the future.
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