Home/ Markets / Cryptocurrency/  Defy raises $5.5 mn, woos investors with country’s maiden social crypto exchange

New Delhi/Bengaluru: Fintech startup Defy has raised $5.5 million in a seed round and launched what it claims to be India’s first social crypto exchange that allows users to create their profiles and share portfolios with friends and followers.

Social trading is a form of investing that emulates strategies of big traders and influencers or even friends.

Defy, founded by Bhagaban Behera, Sriharsha Setty and Nakul Kelkar, aims to disrupt the cryptocurrency space in India with a social and community-based approach.

People can use the social channel to interact and follow experts for investment strategies while also keeping track of their friends’ portfolios. Defy also aims to educate users with gamified content and social conversations around crypto.

“For new users, getting started in terms of where to invest and when to invest is a really big challenge. The crypto investment today is a lonely journey and could be intimidating. The way we are building Defy is that users are not alone and they invest with their friends. A user gets to interact and communicate with others, grow and learn along the way," said Behera, co-founder and CEO, Defy. It will allow investors to follow other users and also replicate their portfolios.

“Today’s generation learns things through social media very quickly. We want to empower our users via social channel and help them get into the crypto world quickly and in the right way," he said. 

Defy, which plans to on-board 1 million transacting users in the next six months, will also offer incentives to investors to make their portfolios public. It will also explore launching fixed deposits, systematic investments plans and crypto-backed credit cards for its users at a later stage.

Defy received seed round funding worth $ 5.5 million for the parent company, Y Combinator-backed Walrus. The round was led by Goat VC, JAM Fund and Goodwater Capital. Gemba Capital, Night Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Uncommon Capital, Soma Capital and Olive Tree Capital also took part in the round along with existing investor Better Capital.

Behera said a major part of the fundraise would go towards expanding the staff strength base to 50 in six months from 20 currently. Acquiring customers would also be another focus area.

In the past year, crypto-related startups have gained attention of investors.

In August, CoinDCX raised $90 million in its Series C round led by Facebook founder Eduardo Savarin’s B Capital group, valuing the company at $1.1 billion. CoinSwitch Kuber announced a Series C funding round worth over $260 million, led by American venture capital firm a16z and Coinbase Ventures.

Abhinav Kaul
Abhinav Kaul writes on cryptocurrencies and mutual funds at Mint. His previous stints include ETMarkets, Reuters Bangalore and Press Trust of India.
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Updated: 18 Nov 2021, 11:11 PM IST
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