Defy raises $ 5.5m to build India’s first social crypto exchange
By Leandra Monteiro
At a time when conversations around cryptocurrency continue to travel to different cities and towns across the country with heightened interest especially among Gen Z and millennials, India gets its maiden social crypto exchange platform, DEFY.
Defy, founded by entrepreneurs, Bhagaban Behera, Sriharsha Setty and Nakul Kelkar, aims to disrupt the cryptocurrency space with a social and community-based approach. The platform, available for Android users on Google Playstore, aims to build a social platform around crypto to make the subject considerably less intimidating. It allows users to create their profile and share their portfolio with friends and followers.
Users can use this social channel to interact and follow experts for investment strategies while also keeping track of their friends’ portfolios. Additionally, Defy aims to educate users with gamified content and social conversations around Crypto.
Talking about the launch, Bhagaban Behera, Co-founder & CEO said, “Defy is a coming-of-age fintech startup that aims at disrupting the cryptocurrency space in India. Our platform puts the user’s needs at the heart of the conversation. Defy is an app for crypto enthusiasts in India that embraces a friendly user experience keeping the intimidating crypto lingo at bay. Over the past 18 months, this asset class has caught everyone’s attention not only because it has emerged as the best asset class of 2021 but also because other asset classes are not able to fulfill the aspiration of the smart investors who want their money to grow in tandem with global growth rate.”
Backed by some of the best investors in India and the Silicon Valley, the team of second-time entrepreneurs, Bhagaban, Sriharsha and Nakul has received Seed round funding worth $ 5.5 million for the parent company, Y Combinator-backed Walrus. The round was led by Goat VC, JAM Fund and Goodwater Capital. Participating in this round were Gemba Capital, Night Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Uncommon Capital, Soma Capital, Olive Tree Capital in addition to existing investor, Better Capital.
Nakul Kelkar, Co-founder & COO added, “A typical user journey consists of the user coming to the app and buying or selling crypto whereas with Defy, the user gets to interact and communicate with other users, grow and learn along the way. We want to make the process of investing in crypto much more seamless and enjoyable by making it community first.”
Sriharsha Setty, CTO at Defy and an early adopter in the Bitcoin game believes that cryptocurrency is the future of money. “We are at a point where we want to have power over the money we own. Alternative technologies such as cryptocurrency opens up avenues in mainstream finance, bringing back the power to the user. This technology is here to stay and enabling more adoption in the space is something we are focusing on with Defy.”
Justin Kan from Goat VC said, “Crypto and defi are providing greater access to an open financial system across the world, and Defy is positioned to bring that access to the largest number of users in India. We’re very excited for what the team is building.”
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