Luno, a Digital Currency Group (“DCG”) firm, has today launched Luno Expeditions, its global, early-stage investment arm to support the best fintech and crypto/web3 founders on their journeys to build the next generation of financial services.
Luno Expeditions has not yet announced its ticket sizes but will target between 200 to 300 early stage startups per year via both seed and pre-seed rounds with expertise from DCG’s -year track record in early stage crypto investing.
In a statement, Luno Expeditions Jocelyn Cheng: “I am thrilled to join Luno Expeditions as Chief Executive. These are incredibly exciting times in cryptocurrency and the broader fintech ecosystem. We’ve got ambitious plans to build a leading fund designed around the needs of early stage founders. It will be a privilege to work with ambitious entrepreneurs from all over the world, all intent on solving problems and building the next generation of financial service companies.”
Whilst in stealth mode over the past few months, Luno Expeditions has already invested in over 20 leading crypto and fintech companies globally, including a crypto compliance solution in Israel, an NFT marketplace in the United States, a bank dedicated to women in Pakistan and a ground-breaking remittance solution in Tanzania.
Last year, DCG which also owns Coindesk, raised $700 million in funding and hit a $10 billion valuation. Since its inception in 2015, DCG has invested in over 200 blockchain companies in more than 30 countries. In 2021, DCG said it’s revenue exceeded $1 billion. Luno’s customer base in Africa in 2021 was over 9 million and its trading volume in Africa is over $7bn showing a rising demand for cryptocurrencies globally.
Luno’s customer base in Africa grew by 2.3mn to 4.7mn in 2020 and between January 2020 and January 2021, it saw a 271% surge in app downloads while its trading volume in Africa grew over 12x from $555mn to $7bn showing a rising demand for cryptocurrencies globally.
Luno hit 7 million customers worldwide just seven weeks after passing 6 million customers. Its exponential growth in Africa is due to the fact that it played enabled an efficient market for customers to trade crypto in a safe and secure way through local currency.
Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of DCG, and Marcus Swanepoel, co-founder and CEO of Luno, are both closely involved in the initiative and will be part of the Investment Committee.
“We know how hard it is to build a company, especially in the fintech space, and with our deep experience building, scaling and operating fintech businesses in some of the hardest markets in the world, we’re looking to support a new generation of entrepreneurs from all over the world do the same,” Marcus Swanepoel, Luno co-founder and CEO commented: