Middle East cryptocurrency exchange Rain raises $110m in new funding round

The start-up will use the proceeds to secure more licences in the Mena region, Turkey and Pakistan

Yehia Badawy co- founded Rain Management with three others. Courtesy: Rain Management
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Rain Financial, operator of the Rain cryptocurrency exchange that is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, raised $110 million in series B funding as digital currencies gain more acceptance among mainstream investors globally.

The round was led by San Francisco-based cryptocurrency-focused investment company Paradigm and Silicon Valley venture capital company Kleiner Perkins.

Rain Financial also received backing from US-based Coinbase Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Middle East Venture Partners, Cadenza Ventures, Jimco and CMT Digital, the company said on Tuesday.

Founded in 2017 by Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson, Joseph Dallago and Yehia Badawy, Rain will use the proceeds of the funding round to secure more licences in the Mena region, Turkey and Pakistan, enhance its technology through an advanced trading platform and grow the team.

“We are very excited about this funding opportunity as it allows us to continue conversations with regulators across the Mena region, Turkey and Pakistan about the benefits and potential of cryptocurrency. It will also support our overarching mission of providing education and access to cryptocurrency to all of our supported markets,” the founders said.

“At Rain, we strongly believe in the long-term value of cryptocurrency and its blockchain technology foundation to change finance globally.”

Cryptocurrencies have become a popular mode of investment over the past two years, partly spurred by increased digital adoption during the pandemic. It has also driven by bored investors with time on their hands during movement restrictions and extra money to invest after a series of government stimulus packages.

Rain Financial was set up in 2017 and received a licence to operate as a crypto-asset broker by Bahrain's central bank in 2019. The company offers its customers a way to buy and sell digital currencies, as well as custodian services to hold their assets.

In 2019, the start-up raised $2.5m from BitMex Ventures and Bahraini cryptocurrency fund Blockwater.

Bitcoin enthusiast and developer Jimmy Song, Cumberland Mining founder Mike Komarnsky, along with Aaron Lasher and Aaron Voisine, founders of cryptocurrency wallet BRD, also participated in the round.

Quote
We are very excited about this funding opportunity as it allows us to continue conversations with regulators across the Mena region, Turkey and Pakistan about the benefits and potential of cryptocurrency
Rain co-founders

The FinTech also raised $6m in January 2021 in a series A round of funding, led by MEVP with participation from Coinbase Ventures.

“We believe Rain is a crucial piece of the puzzle for bringing the Middle East deeper into the new crypto economy,” Casey Caruso, investing partner at Paradigm, said.

“Their emphasis on supporting and educating those new to crypto alongside strong banking and regulatory relationships has helped them build a service people trust.”

The start-up has performed more than $1.9 billion worth of transactions to date and hosts more than 185,000 active users. With more than 400 employees, Rain will continue to grow its team across the region and hopes to double in size this year, the company said.

“While continuing to focus on regional expansion, Rain seeks to offer a safe and secure space to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies, as well as provide regular educational opportunities for those interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies,” it said.

Updated: January 18, 2022, 9:27 AM
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