Swiss Crypto Unicorn 21.co Secures $25 Million in Preparation for Middle East Expansion

Zurich-based 21.co has secured $25 million in its latest funding round, as it goes ahead with plans to expand in key markets including the Middle East.

The cryptocurrency firm is the parent company of 21Shares, also based in Switzerland, which issues crypto exchange traded products (ETPs).

The new capital injection will fuel the firm’s expansion plans in key markets, including in the UAE, where it has already hired an executive to head its Middle East operations.

“In addition to Switzerland, where 21Shares is based, Dubai is one of the most exciting and favorable locations for crypto and blockchain businesses,” ex-EFG Hermes Sherif El-Haddad, said at the time.

The Swiss firm aims to take advantage of the region’s fast-growing crypto market, which Chainalysis earlier pegged as making up 7 percent of global trading volumes.

In the UAE alone, transactions have increased 500 percent to hit $25 billion between July 2020 and June 2021, according to Arabian Business.

21.co’s recent funding round, which puts its valuation well around the $2 billion mark, was particularly notable as it happened during a global crypto winter – when digital currencies saw massive slumps.

“This round – raised during Crypto Winter – was the company’s first raise in over two years, a testament to the company’s early success and growing investor demand in the asset class,” it said in a statement.

The company recorded over $650 million in net new assets by September this year, from the same month in 2021. Its peak assets under management stood at $3 billion in November last year.

Last month, 21Shares also hired heads of France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, as part of its bullish expansion strategy in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region.

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