South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Operator Raises $85 Million at an $8.65 Billion Valuation

Dunamu, the operator of South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Upbit has become a “decacorn” by getting a valuation of almost $10 billion, now joining the ranks of e-commerce giant Coupang and leisure reservation app Yanolja.

Dunamu has raised around 100 billion won (about $85 million USD) from investors, reported the Korea Times citing investment banking industry sources.

Altos Ventures, Hana Financial investment, and Saehan Venture Capital are the investors in the company.

With this latest funding round, Dunamu’s valuation rose to about 10.2 trillion won ($8.65 billion), from 6.7 trillion won in April and before that $1.5 trillion won in February this year.

According to market watchers, Dunamu can have a valuation of as high as 30 trillion won ($25.4 billion) if it goes public in the near future.

What this means is “the crypto exchange market became much tougher to enter following the recent regulation, and this is the market betting that Upbit will maintain and expand its dominance over the market + institutional adoption,” said DooWanNa, co-founder of StableNode and Asia BD at MakerDAO.

Founded in 2012, Dunamu launched crypto exchange Upbit in late 2017. As a leading position in the coin market, Dunamu generated 590 billion won ($500 million) in sales during the first quarter this year, and the blockchain company is expected to achieve an operating profit of over two trillion won ($1.7 billion) this year.

The largest exchange in South Korea, Upbit dominates the crypto market in the country, accounting for more than 70% of the domestic market share, and is among the few exchanges that are regulated.

About ten days back, the company officially became the first licensed Korean exchange, thanks to having a bank account. According to local media, Upbit is the only company right now that has been reported as a virtual asset operator in accordance with the requirements of the Special Act, a bill designed to prevent illegal money laundering and terrorist financing in accordance with the FATF.

Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit are the only other exchanges that have existing fiat accounts and will soon get their licenses too as such unaffected by FSC’s Sept. 24 deadline to register their businesses with the government.

Currently, the top ten coins trading on Upbit are Bitcoin Cash ABC, Serum, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin, Cosmos, Tezos, Cardano, Polkadot, and OMG Network.

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