Cryptocurrencies have exploded in value from humble beginnings in 2009 when Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency in the world today that touched a market capitalisation of more than $1tn towards the end of February, was created and launched as the first decentralised cryptocurrency.
Since 2012, Bitcoin has gained more than 193,000 per cent in value and accelerated the launch of hundreds of different types of cryptocurrencies. By 2026, the market size for cryptocurrencies is expected to cross $1tn in value.
With this context in mind, here are the 10 best cryptocurrency startups to watch, according to Insider Monkey.
Bitpanda is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that deals in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, as well as gold and stocks. It is one of the most valuable startups based out of Europe and raised more than $170m in funding in late March at a valuation of over $1bn. The company already operates in Austria, France, Spain, Turkey, Italy and Poland. It is different from other crypto exchanges as it deals in stocks and gold in addition to digital assets like crypto.
Netki is a company that provides digital verification technology. The company has raised more than $3.5m so far in two funding rounds led by investors such as O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Netki aims to be the leading provider of tools that will enable blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin to expand their reach around the world. The products marketed by the company comply with anti-money laundering rules laid down by international bodies.
Spring Labs is a company that is building a platform that will enable big financial institutions to securely share data between themselves without compromising on user identities. The company has so far raised more than $68m in funding over three rounds, with the latest $30m raised around late April. On May 11, consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion revealed that it invested in Spring Labs as it seeks to explore new models for user profiling in baking services.
Chipper Cash is a financial technology company that facilitates cross border peer-to-peer payments. The startup has so far raised more than $152m in funding over five rounds, with the latest $100m raised at the end of last month. Fintech is one of the fastest-growing business segments in Africa and Chipper Cash is already serving customers in many Africa states, including Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya. The firm has plans for expansion into the United Kingdom as well.
Amazon.com, Inc. owner, Jeff Bezos, has invested in the company through his personal fund, Bezos Expeditions. Although Amazon.com has still yet to fully embrace cryptocurrencies, the company is seeking a foothold in the crypto-related fintech realm.
Blockchain.com is a cryptocurrency explorer, wallet, and exchange platform. The company has managed to raise more than $490m in funding so far over six rounds, with the latest round bringing in $300m in late March. The company is one of the largest pure plays on crypto in the Internet market, boasting a user base of over 50 million.
One of the lead investors in the company is Google Ventures, a fund backed by Alphabet Inc., the California-based technology company that consistently backed the rise of crypto but not invested heavily in it yet. Alphabet is gearing up for the launch of a retail store as it bids to rival competitors like Apple.
Solve.Care is a company that markets a decentralised blockchain platform for healthcare and related services. The firm links patients to health professionals and coordinates all kinds of benefits, care packages, payments within the system using a smart blockchain contract. It has so far managed to win the backing of several big insurance companies as the platform of the firm can be used to settle different kinds of insurance claims quickly and cheaply. The company has so far raised $30m in funding over two rounds.
Provenance is a company that markets supply chain and product transparency. It operates software that uses blockchain, mobile, and other open sources of data to provide users with the origin, tracking, and impact of products. It has raised more than $1.2m in funding so far over five rounds. Digital Currency Group and Working Capital Fund are some of the big names that have invested in the company. The company is based in San Francisco.
Fetch.AI Limited is an artificial intelligence company that markets AI solutions for blockchain networks. In late March, the company launched a new version of its Mainnet network with 30 validators that included Outlier Ventures, Forbole, and Intones, among others. The company has so far managed to raise more than $26m in three funding rounds.
GDA Group and Outlier Ventures have contributed to these rounds. The company is based in the UK.
Another firm with a thriving AI business is Baidu, Inc., the Chinese technology company that operates the leading Internet search engine in the country. The AI unit of Baidu was recently called undervalued by investment advisory Daiwa.
Bitwise Asset Management is a cryptocurrency index fund manager offering clients exposure to crypto investments. Recently, the fund raised $70m in a Series B funding round led by big names in the hedge fund industry such as Stanley Druckenmiller, who runs Duquesne Capital, and the CEO of Bridgewater Associates, David McCormick.
The crypto fund manages over $1.2bn in assets and has plans for aggressive expansion in the coming months, with CEO Hunter Horsley trying to double the size of his team by the end of the year.
CoinSwitch Kuber is a cryptocurrency exchange primarily facilitating crypto transactions in India. In late April, the firm raised $25m in funding from Tiger Global Management LLC, the New York-based hedge fund with $43bn in assets under management. With the latest funding, the company is now valued at over $500m. Scott Shleifer, a partner at the hedge fund, has told news media in India that the fund is excited to partner with a firm that is well-positioned to cash in on the crypto boom among retail investors in the country.
Previously, the crypto exchange had also raised funding from Paradigm, an investment firm founded by Fred Ehrsam, who is one of the founders of Coinbase Global, Inc., the largest crypto exchange in the world.