KuCoin’s market capitalization has risen to $10 billion in its first funding round in four years, as the global cryptocurrency exchange wants to expand its web3 ecosystem further, the company announced Tuesday.
The four-year-old platform is now valued at $10 billion, up from $100 million following its $20 million Series A financing in November 2018, according to KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu.
Jump Crypto led a pre-Series B funding round for the Seychelles-based company, which raised $150 million. According to KuCoin, the latest round included participation from Circle Ventures, IDG Capital, and Matrix Partners.
KuCoin wants to use the new assets to expand its portfolio of crypto wallets, GameFi, DeFi, and NFT platforms, and DAOs, according to Lyu. KuCoin has over 18 million users in 200 countries and regions and is one of the largest exchanges by daily SPOT trading volume. “This is how everyone is drawn into the ecosystem, and the ecosystem’s value is determined by the size and loyalty of these participants,” he explained.
The firm, which competes with Binance, Coinbase, FTX and Crypto.com among others, has been exploring opportunities in the web3 ecosystem for some time. Late last year, it launched its investment arm, KuCoin Ventures, through which it makes both strategic and financial investments.
“This concept is essentially why we raised this round, web3 is about openness, and we want to build KuCoin into an open ecosystem and an open system needs to bring many friends on board. The world of crypto is so new that we want to make sure we can leverage all sources of information to guide our decision making, and these prominent investors can keep us updated on the latest trends,” he said.
Lyu said the venture arm’s asset under management has already ballooned to a “couple hundred million US dollars.”
KuCoin has gained some popularity – as well as notoriety – for listing tokens with small to mid-sized market cap. One of the popular ways some savvy traders made good profits earlier was heavily making bets on the new KuCoin was about to list, and selling them as soon their trading went live on the central exchange.
Lyu said providing users with high-quality potential projects is “one of our major strategies at KuCoin and one of the reasons why we are known as ‘People’s Exchange.’” “As you can see, KuCoin, as the home of hidden gems, not only keeps track of real-time hot sectors in the industry but also deeply researches potential projects in various sectors all the way, even if it is a small or mid-cap token at a certain stage,” he said. “For example, we have listed many new projects in the world premiere way no matter through the normal listing or KuCoin Spotlight, KuCoin BurningDrop, in which many projects are turned out to be very high-quality and potential after a period of development. The premise of guaranteeing its huge potential and quality is that we have professional, all-around, and strict related processes.”
The firm said it has seen an increase in demand for centralized services over the years, but is committed to catering to users who also wish to avail some decentralized services. “We noticed that some users would prefer to use DEX because it can be directly integrated with the wider crypto native ecosystem. Actually, we are exploring and developing decentralized products like the NFT marketplace – Windvane. In addition, KCC, jointly built by members of the KuCoin community and KCS fans, will also be an important aspect for KuCoin to build a decentralized ecosystem, with DEX and other protocols such as lending and stablecoins are building on it. We also have a P2P service for users who wish to convert fiat currencies to digital assets with the lowest fees and a high level of security,” he said.
The exchange is also working to step up its efforts to support global regulation requirements and is investing to enhance its security and risk management systems, it said. “KuCoin provides a comprehensive platform of crypto services to a global audience, which is one of the many reasons we’re proud to lead this round,” said Tak Fujishima, Head of Asia at Jump Crypto, in a statement. “We are pleased to support the company as it continues to grow and expand its offerings in futures and margin trading, lending, staking and passive yield generation to support the growth of web 3.0 and the crypto markets.”
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