Luno, a retail-focused crypto exchange, has been acquired by blockchain investment firm, Digital Currency Group (DCG). The exchange spans over 40 countries and has more than 5 million customers. The companies said that Luno will continue its operations as a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of the DCG. The announcement was made on Wednesday, but the financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed. This deal indicates another change in strategy by DCG, which is also the owner of CoinDesk, as it makes a complete acquisition of a business solidly focused on retail. The chief operating officer at DCG, Mark Murphy said that they had invested in numerous retail businesses all over the world, which include almost two dozen exchanges.
However, this is the first subsidiary that is an exchange as well as a wallet, which means it does have a large number of retail investors. A new crypto mining division called Foundry was recently launched by DCG and the company has been focusing on institutional crypto businesses like Genesis, along with the brisk crypto lending market. Murphy also said that going forward, the company didn’t have any intention of making more acquisitions when it comes to the level of the parent company. Nonetheless, he noted that Luno would expand all over the globe both organically and via acquisitions.
Thus, this deal would be a kind of ‘roll-up’ strategy for DCG under Luno. The wallet and exchange were launched in 2013 and initially, it was operating from Singapore. A few years later, they moved their offices to London and it is now a leading exchange on the African continent. In fact, it is recognized as one of the major players in South East Asia and boasts a team of close to 400 people. DCG had first made an investment in Luno back in 2014. To date, the exchange has raised about $13.8 million in funding and it has a long-term relationship with the CEO and founder of DCG, Barry Silbert.
CEO and co-founder of Luno, Marcus Swanepoel said that they have known DCG for almost seven years. He said that there had been five people in the room when they had called Barry to talk about the future of cryptocurrency and the overall industry. He said that they had been having the same conversations for almost seven years. According to Swanepoel, Luno has maintained a strong financial position and a number of companies have attempted to acquire it over the years.
He added that what appealed to Luno was the conglomerate feature of DCG in the crypto industry because they had thought of how a retail business could play a role in it. He noted that with the announcement made two weeks ago about Foundry, it shows that DCG has ventured in every single type of product, in every single market. However, there had been two things that were lacking. The first one was a strong presence in emerging and frontier markets and the second was a retail business. Thus, Luno can help fill this gap.