Luno, one of the largest crypto exchanges in Africa, has been bought by New York-based Digital Currency Group (DCG).
It is a global cryptocurrency company that makes it safe, easy to buy, sell, store and learn about cryptocurrencies with over 5 million customers in more than 40 countries.
DCG is a global enterprise that builds, buys and invests in blockchain companies. It is also an investment firm that has backed more than 160 blockchain companies around the world.
New York-based DCG will be making a significant financial commitment to help Luno expand globally, both in geographies where Luno currently operates and beyond. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
DCG first invested in Luno in its seed round in 2013.
“We are proud to have supported Luno as an early investor, and we recognize a shared commitment to building mission-driven companies that can help transform traditional financial services and improve economic freedom for people all over the world,” said DCG Founder and CEO Barry Silbert.
“Luno is a high growth, global business and there is a massive opportunity to expand organically and through acquisitions.”
DCG enables its subsidiaries to operate as independent companies, providing leadership, partnership, and investment capital to help scale the businesses. The Luno leadership team will remain intact and CEO and founder Marcus Swanepoel will lead acquisition efforts in his role as CEO.
“The past seven years has been an incredibly exciting journey for Luno – helping millions of our customers get access to crypto for the first time,” said Swanepoel.
“DCG has been an integral part of the Luno story during this time, and we’ve been fully aligned on our vision and culture since day one. Having the full backing of DCG just as we’re experiencing such a pivotal moment of growth in the industry is not just an exciting and important milestone for Luno, but more importantly it will significantly accelerate our ability to reach our goal to help upgrade one billion people to a better financial system by 2030.”
RMI has sold its stake for cash in Luno to DCG achieving an attractive price.
“We are delighted by this transaction as it is AlphaCode’s first exit and well above our targeted IRR of 25 – 35% for our fintech investments. We have enjoyed working with the Luno team and still believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies and Luno’s solid growth potential. We supported management selling the business to DCG as it is very well positioned to leverage the platform,” says Dominique Collett, RMI senior investments executive and head of AlphaCode.
“We wish the Luno team and DCG all the best and will be watching their future success with interest.”
Luno began in South Africa in 2013.
It has helped broaden the global crypto investment community and the company has seen record growth of its customer base in 2020.
The company is a leading exchange in several countries that have the highest percentage of cryptocurrency ownership, including South Africa (third-highest of its citizens owning digital currencies), Nigeria (fifth-highest), Indonesia (sixth-highest), and Malaysia (tenth-highest).
Luno maintains key regional offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, and Jakarta and will continue to focus on the existing geographies where it operates across Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.