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Cryptocurrencies

Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchange operator becomes decacorn

Dunamu raises $85 million from new investors through a deal of old shares

By Sep 23, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

(Courtesy of Bitcoinist)
(Courtesy of Bitcoinist)

Dunamu Inc., the operator of South Korea’s top cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, became a decacorn, a company valued at over $10 billion.

Dunamu has raised some 100 billion won ($85.3 million) through a deal of old shares, according to the venture capital (VC) industry sources on Sept. 23. New investors including Altos Ventures, Hana Financial Investment Co. and Saehan Venture Capital bought those shares from existing investors such as Atinum Investment Co.

Dunamu’s corporate value was estimated at around 10 trillion won ($8.5 billion) with the latest investment. The company’s value was at 1.5 trillion won in February when DSC Investment injected 10 billion won. Its value was estimated to have risen to 6.7 trillion won during a fundraising in April.

It operates Upbit that is dominating South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange market with an average daily transaction of 20 trillion won. Dunamu also manages a trading platform for over-the-counter stocks and provides information on stock markets.

Its earnings so far 2021 already exceeded profits of last year with a revenue of more than 500 billion won in the first quarter. Dunamu posted sales of 176.7 billion won and an operating profit of 86.6 billion won in 2020.

Dunamu’s corporate value is expected to spike to up to 30 trillion won, according to the VC industry, given Coinbase Global Inc.’s market capitalization of some $65 billion. Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, was listed on the Nasdaq.

Dunamu is also expected to go public in the US stock markets, industry sources said.

“If the cryptocurrency market is regulated in the future, larger exchanges with guaranteed stability and reliability will lead reorganization of the market,” said a VC industry source. “In this regard, institutional investors are keeping an eye on Dunamu.”

Write to Jong-Woo Kim at jongwoo@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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