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Home / Companies / People /  They could not pay rent once. How two IITians gave India its first cryptocurrency unicorn

CoinDCX on Tuesday became India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn after the exchange raised $90 million from investors led by Facebook Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group. The road to success for the founders Neeraj Khandelwal and Sumit Gupta of CoinDCX was not easy.

In 2018, IITians Sumit Gupta and Neeraj Khandelwal started their cryptocurrency journey from a modest flat in Mumbai and endured a hard time paying the rent for the same. In June, while speaking to the Humans of Bombay, CoinDCX founders recalled the difficulties they faced in the early phase of the launch of their startup.

Both the engineers from the elite Indian Institute of Technology spent several hours daily reading about blockchain and cryptocurrencies before setting up CoinDCX in 2018.

The latest funding round values the firm at $1.1 billion, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Sumit Gupta said in an interview Tuesday. Other investors include existing partners Coinbase Ventures, Polychain Capital, Block.one, and Jump Capital.

Gupta plans to use part of the funds to double his team in the next six months to about 400 people in India.

Investments surged after the Supreme Court last year quashed a ban on banks facilitating crypto trades. The four biggest crypto exchanges in India saw daily trading jump to $159 million from $28.6 million a year ago, according to CoinGecko.

For regulators, the volatile nature of the asset has been a worry. After touching a high of $64,870 in April, Bitcoin lost more than half of its value and fell to $28,824 in June. The asset has since recovered and was trading up at about $45,270 at 8:05 p.m. in Singapore. The Reserve Bank of India is looking to create its own digital currency.


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