New Zealand-based exchange Easy Crypto has just come off a Series A funding round, led by venture capital fund Nuance Connected Capital, securing US$11.75 million.
In an October 6 announcement, the company claimed this was the largest first funding round successfully completed by any New Zealand firm, and that the round was oversubscribed by 50 percent. Investors included Pathfinder, Icehouse Ventures, Even Capital, and US-based Hutt Capital.
Easy Crypto Reaches ‘Significant Milestone’
Janine Grainger, CEO and co-founder of Easy Crypto, said that the funding represents a significant milestone for the company and the future of cryptos in New Zealand. Investment had been difficult to secure, as it took 13 months for Easy to attract its first influx of capital.
Cryptocurrency is seen as a bit fringe still [in New Zealand], a bit volatile and I think it’s taken us a while to find investors who perhaps had that forward-looking and strategic vision to be able to take a punt on what we’re doing.Janine Grainger, CEO and co-founder, Easy Crypto
Grainger is also co-founder of Vault Digital Funds, which has just established New Zealand’s first bitcoin-only fund, to be managed by Implemented Investment Solutions.
Using Funds to Accelerate Growth
Easy Crypto is a retail platform that enables its customers to buy, sell and trade over 150 cryptos. Co-founded three years ago by Grainger and her sibling Alan, the company has since experienced rapid growth, generating US$760 million (NZ$1.1 billion) in sales and increasing platform user numbers almost fivefold over the past 12 months.
Janine Grainger has said that the funds will be used to accelerate further growth by expanding product development and will move into new customer markets in South-East Asia such as Indonesia and the Philippines:
The reason we’re targeting those markets was that there is a large population of people who are unbanked or underbanked, and don’t have the same access to financial products as you and I do.Janine Grainger, CEO and co-founder, Easy Crypto
Easy Planning to Go Public
Grainger has said that a share float might be on the cards in the long term: “We’re still working out what that looks like, and what plans there are for us into the future, but very likely we would be looking at an IPO [initial public offer].”
For now, however, the company’s focus is on what it can deliver to customers both locally and internationally.
Australia’s trans-Tasman neighbour is quickly realising the benefits of crypto. In November last year, Crypto News reported that New Zealand had built a green energy plant, paid for partly in bitcoin.
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