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Luno eyes US expansion as parent firm DCG gets R10.8bn windfall

By , ITWeb's news editor.
Africa , South Africa , 02 Nov 2021

Luno’s parent company Digital Currency Group (DCG) recently closed a significant secondary investment round of more than US$700-million (R10.8 billion) and is now valued at US$10-billion (R154 billion).

The South African-born Luno also has plans to expand to the US in 2022.

For Luno, DCG's war chest means access to the capital needed to fuel continued expansion, as well as the expertise and backing from a syndicate of equity investors, including SoftBank, Google’s Capital G and GIC.

The New York-backed DCG bought Luno in September 2020, in a move aimed at making significant financial commitment to help Luno expand globally, in geographies where Luno currently operates and beyond.

DCG first invested in Luno in its seed round in 2013. Luno has also been backed by global tech giant Naspers Group and Rand Merchant Investments, which sold their stakes in Luno to DCG in 2020.

Luno has customers in Africa, Asia and Europe. The company has grown from two million to more than nine million customers worldwide since 2019 and is expanding to the US in 2022.

The company recently said its business has grown rapidly due to ongoing interest in crypto-currencies, the simplicity of its online and mobile platforms, offering education, bank-grade security and self-regulation.

Luno says it is actively working with regulators and banks to safely increase access to crypto-currencies.

Founded in 2013 by South Africans, Marcus Swanepoel and Timothy Stranex, Luno now has more than 400 employees across offices in South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore and the UK.

Marius Reitz, GM for Africa at Luno, comments: “Within five years of launching the business, Luno had built a one million customer base in November 2017. Less than a year later, we had five million. The speed at which we are reaching new milestones is remarkable - it has taken just nine months to add three million more wallets.”

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