Rain raises $6 million Series A from MEVP & Coinbase to grow its Middle Eastern cryptocurrency exchange

Bahrain-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Rain has raised $6 million in a Series A round led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), it announced in a statement to MENAbytes today. The round also saw participation of different new and existing investors including Coinbase which is the largest cryptocurrency platform in the United States (and filed last month to go public), Saudi-based Vision Ventures, US-based crypto-focused fund CMT Digital Ventures, Saudi’s JIMCO, and Dubai International Fintech Centre’s Fintech Fund. Rain had raised $2.5 million in a seed round in July 2019.

Founded in 2017 by Abdullah Almoaiqel, AJ Nelson, Joseph Dallago, and Yehia Badawy, Rain enables users in the Middle East (and beyond) to buy, sell, and store Bitocoin and other cryptocurrencies through its web and mobile-based platform. Having received its license from the Central Bank of Bahrain in 2019, it is the first licensed cryptocurrency asset platform of the Middle East.

According to its website, Rain currently works for users in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Oman, who can buy the crypto-assets by transferring the money to Rain Bahrain’s bank account (the money shows up in their Rain wallet in a day or two) or instantly by using their debit/credit cards. The users in these countries can also withdraw the money from Rain to a local bank account.

In addition to Bitcoin, Rain also supports the buying, selling, and storage of Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. The fiat currencies it supports for deposits, withdrawals, and trading include Bahraini Dinar, Saudi Riyal, Emirati Dirham, Kuwaiti Dinar, Omani Riyal, US Dollar, and Euro.

The startup did not share any details around its numbers but its co-founder Yehia Badawy has told MENAbytes that Covid-19 accelerated their growth with the number of signups and trading volumes on the platform seeing a significant increase.

Bitcoin's ongoing surge

Bitcoin’s ongoing surge

Bitcoin has grown almost four-fold in a little over three months, crossing the $40,000 mark for the first time, earlier this month. It is currently trading at $36,200. With this surge, there has been a renewed interest in cryptocurrencies from different segments all around the world. Rain did not share any specific details about how it has fared during this ongoing surge but according to publicly available data, the visits to its website grew by almost 50 percent month-over-month in December.

Commenting on the latest investment, Rain’s co-founders, said, “We are confident that our investors, who are regional and international leaders, will support us as we continue to drive towards our vision of reaching mass adoption of crypto-assets.”

Riyad Abou Jaoudeh, a Junior Partner at MEVP, said, “As crypto-assets continue to grow and transform into a recognized asset class, regional retail and institutional investors alike need a localized, safe, and regulated fiat-to-crypto rails. We are excited to back Rain, MENA’s first regulated crypto-asset company. This marks our first investment in Bahrain, a progressively regulated launchpad for GCC Fintechs.”

A representative of Vision Ventures said, “We are glad to invest in Rain once again, which continues to lead in the sector by enabling everyone from the region to invest in crypto-assets seamlessly. Rain management’s team has been phenomenal as they grew [the platform] so much in such a short time.”

Rain plans to use the investment to grow its engineering team and expand to other Middle Eastern geographies by acquiring local licenses.

Correction: JIMCO was previously incorrectly listed in the article as Abdul Latif Jamil Fintech Ventures. 

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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