ZebPay claims that two-thirds of crypto homeowners in India purchased their first Bitcoin on its platform. We couldn’t independently confirm the declare, however there’s no denying that ZebPay is amongst India’s oldest crypto buying and selling platforms and a well-liked identify within the world of digital currencies.
Based in 2014, the Singapore-headquartered startup has had a chequered journey in a primarily cash-driven India. Administration adjustments, native regulatory hurdles, and some product iterations later, ZebPay relaunched in January 2020, forward of the Supreme Courtroom’s resolution on RBI’s two-year ban on cryptocurrencies.
The courtroom struck down the “unconstitutional” ban in March — a transfer that led to a crypto trading boom in India, with bitcoins rising as a sexy asset class and a much less risky type of wealth in a slowdown.
And ZebPay — like all different crypto exchanges — went on to achieve from it.
CEO Rahul Pagidipati, who took over the management and majority possession of ZebPay in January, tells YourStory,
“Bitcoin was born through the 2008 financial disaster so individuals might retailer wealth in a decentralised method. Equally, traders at the moment wish to hold their cash protected from inflation, and make it simply accessible. All these components have led to the growth in crypto buying and selling submit COVID-19.”
Rahul, who’d been a silent companion since 2019, purchased out a majority of ZebPay, with founders Sandeep Goenka, Saurabh Agrawal, and Mahin Gupta proudly owning lower than 10 p.c stake cumulatively. The founders are now not concerned within the day-to-day operations of the startup.
ZebPay has raised undisclosed funds from Rahul’s household workplace and Ayon Capital (a enterprise fund the place Rahul was the CIO).
India development submit the relaunch
From March to September, the variety of buying and selling prospects on ZebPay grew by 3.8X, with common month-to-month enhance pegged at 24 p.c.
Over 2.16 lakh distinctive customers traded on the platform, with most traction coming from Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Lively buying and selling prospects went up by 20X.
ZebPay’s buying and selling volumes have additionally grown “exponentially”, mirroring an industry-wide pattern. It reached peaks of $10 million per day, with common each day buying and selling volumes estimated at $3-5 million.
Rahul says, “ZebPay has been absolutely compliant on KYC and different legal guidelines. We’re as official as every other monetary service supplier. We didn’t wish to battle unfriendly regulators. So, we have been the primary crypto alternate to close down operations [in 2018, after the RBI ban]. Early in 2020, we determined to restart as a result of we imagine in India, and imagine in Bitcoin.”
The startup has its India workplaces in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and has scaled up its workforce from 50 to 110 individuals. It seems to be to rent 20 extra individuals by 2021.
ZebPay options and wealth creation
ZebPay’s on-line crypto alternate operates in 162 countries, and has processed $Three billion value of transactions for over 3.5 million customers — almost 95 p.c of them from India.
Not solely has it made bitcoins extra accessible to Indians by means of a user-friendly app, which has crossed 2.four lakh downloads, however has additionally constructed multi-layered safety protocols in buying and selling.
Each particular person and institutional customers can put money into Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and different crypto belongings, and commerce in crypto-fiat and crypto-crypto pairs.
“ZebPay is slowly transferring away from short-term buying and selling to long-term worth investing. Many individuals have a look at bitcoins as a mere hypothesis device. However we wish to create long-term wealth for our traders. We wish to promote not buying and selling on a regular basis however long-term holding of belongings as a result of cryptos at the moment are rising instead saving class like gold and mutual funds.”
Curiously, the platform is already seeing change in person behaviour, with 60 p.c of ZebPay prospects holding their crypto belongings.
“We would like customers to purchase small quantities of Bitcoin and Ether each month and maintain it for his or her future generations,” Rahul provides.
Enterprise mannequin and development plans
ZebPay has a three-pronged enterprise mannequin. It earns buying and selling charges (when customers purchase or promote bitcoins on the platform), membership charges (the place bitcoins purchased on ZebPay are used to pay for different objects), and upkeep charges (consists of crypto pockets upkeep prices).
The platform had its first worthwhile stretch in April-Could after operating a loss in January. Now it’s specializing in creating referral constructions, incentives, and AMEX-like membership programmes for customers.
It additionally plans to work with service suppliers in ecommerce, journey, healthcare, and so forth to provide reductions on bitcoin purchases.
“Bitcoin is disrupting finance the best way Amazon disrupted books. It’s decentralised digital finance that may profit tens of millions of people that have been historically underbanked, underserved, and undervalued. We are attempting to construct an ecosystem the place everybody can win.”
ZebPay competes with the likes of WazirX, Coinbase, Binance, Bitbns, Paxful, and so on. within the crypto alternate sector.
The startup hopes that India will quickly herald efficient laws for fiat-to-crypto buying and selling like superior crypto markets like Singapore and Japan have already finished.
Rahul sums up by saying, “Folks’s outlook on cryptocurrency has modified and it may be used to stimulate the economic system in a recession.”