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South African exchange raises $50M in Africa’s largest funding round

South African crypto exchange VALR has raised $50 million in a Series B equity funding round, marking the largest-ever funding for an African crypto exchange.

With this latest round of funding, VALR’s valuation has increased to $240 million, a 10X in growth since it raised its $3.4 million in a Series A round in July 2020. This round was led by VC Pantera Capital, Alameda Research, Coinbase Ventures and several others.

VALR claims to have processed over $7.5 billion in trading volume since 2019 from over 250,000 retail customers and 500 global institutional users. It currently has about 420 Bitcoin (BTC) ($18 million) in trading volume from 69 trading pairs, according to CoinMarketCap.

Funds from this round will be used to expand VALR’s operations into other emerging African markets and India, introduce more products for its users and hire more talent.

VALR CEO and co-founder Farzam Ehsani said in a Mar. 1 official statement shared with Cointelegraph that “Society’s financial tools should unite us, not divide us.” He added:

“VALR is helping to build a financial system that recognizes the oneness of the human race. There is no longer any room for doubt regarding the impact crypto assets are having on our global financial system.”

Ehsani also expects to inflate the number of institutional customers such as banks and insurance providers that use VALR’s platform to provide the crypto infrastructure they may need in the future. Ehsani said:

“Crypto assets will become more and more pivotal to all our lives. VALR is here to help bridge our customers from the old financial system to the new.”

Related: Crypto firms ignore Africa at their peril as continent set for major adoption

Despite a turbulent crypto market through 2022 so far, investments in crypto projects have not slowed down. On Feb. 27, the South Korean government announced a $187 million pledge to build a national metaverse, and The Graph (GRT) opened a $205 million fund on Feb. 17 designed to attract developers to its platform.

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