Indian crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber is planning to become a one-stop shop for all kinds of investments including stocks and mutual funds to enable its users to diversify into other asset classes.
The crypto aggregator platform, which has a user base of 18 million, plans to have the structure in place within the next 2-3 years wherein its users can create a portfolio with different asset classes while hedging the volatile cryptocurrencies with the comparatively stable stocks and mutual funds.
“Today we are a crypto-only company but as we grow, we want to be a crypto-first company. What that means is that we want to expand into stocks, mutual funds, and other asset classes to help our users diversify,” said Ashish Singhal, founder & CEO, CoinSwitch.
“Our users are very young and are coming from Tier 2/3 cities. Around 60 per cent come from Tier 2/3 cities and are around 25 years. Currently, they are into crypto but over time they would like to build a better portfolio, which would include wide variety of assets. It doesn’t mean they go away from crypto but crypto will be one of the asset classes. That is the platform we want to build,” Singhal said in an interaction with Business Today.
The Bengaluru-based start-up was founded in 2017 and boasts of well-known global investors including Sequoia, Paradigm, Tiger Global, Ribbit Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, among others.
Apart from Singhal, the start-up has two other co-founders – Govind Soni who is also the Chief Technology officer and Vimal Tiwari, who is the Chief Operating Officer.
Interestingly, the trio built the platform as an aggregator instead of an exchange as they found that there were already many crypto exchanges present with prices varying a lot between the various exchanges.
“Lot of exchanges were out there and price used to vary from one exchange to another, just like stocks. There were tons of exchanges so we built an aggregator for ourselves that would help us trade at the best price. This was before we formally launched. Ultimately it was the product we launched,” said Singhal, while adding that within a month of launch, the platform was registering a daily average gross merchandise value (GMV) of a million dollars.
The crypto major has already started working on a corporate structure wherein the regulated and unregulated investment options will be offered through separate companies.
This assumes significance as recently the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had said that its registered intermediaries cannot offer trading or advisory services related to unregulated asset classes like cryptos or digital gold.
Singhal, who has earlier worked with digital majors like Amazon and Microsoft, says that the company has kept all options open and it could tie up with a broking firm apply for a broking licence or even acquire another company.
“We have a robust team to guide us to on how to launch these products. Our users want to invest. We just have to find a way to merge cryptos and other asset classes together to give our users a unified experience and our team is working on that to ensure that all stakeholders, including our users and regulators are happy and the innovators can still innovate on our platform,” said Singhal.
“We will make sure that our retail investors feel that CoinSwitch is a one-stop shop for them for anything related to investments. That is the vision for the next 2-3 years,” he added.