BitMEX owner 100x Group has participated in a Series A funding round for a South African crypto exchange, saying it offers an entry point into the fast-growing market.
- The recently renamed parent company of derivatives exchange BitMEX confirmed Monday that it had led the $3.4 million Series A for the Johannesburg-based exchange VALR.
- VALR has offered trading pairs for the rand against bitcoin, ether and XRP since June 2019.
- The investment will fund expansion into other countries as well as new products and services.
- Other commits came from Michael Jordaan, the former CEO of First National Bank, one of the largest banks in South Africa, as well as U.S. exchange Bittrex. Both also participated in VALR's $1.5 million seed round in 2018.
- In a statement, 100x CEO Arthur Hayes said the VALR investment gave the firm key exposure to South Africa – a market, he said, with high potential.
- In a report this year, Arcane Research estimated that 13% of South African internet users had owned cryptocurrencies, nearly double the 7% global average.
- Binance launched its own local fiat gateway in April 2020 in order to capitalize on the country's high crypto adoption rates.