Update (17 June 2022): After the crowdfunding raise came to a close on 16 June, Coinstash had secured almost $1.44 million.
A downturn in the cryptocurrency trading market has not deterred loyal backers of Coinstash, many of whom returned for the Brisbane-based digital asset platform’s second equity crowdfunding raise in 14 months.
Facilitated via fundraising platform Birchal, Coinstash has raised almost $1.4 million from 468 retail investors who bought minor stakes in the company.
Of those supporters, 31 per cent were returning investors who joined the company’s first Birchal raise when the company received $2.8 million in what was one of the largest crowdfunds of 2021.
This time around, funds were raised at breakneck speeds, with the company reaching its minimum target of $500,000 in just 12 minutes, and then the $1 million mark in just over two hours.
With the raise set to close on 15 June, the company could still raise a further $600,000 to reach its maximum of $2 million.
Founded by Ting Wang and Mena Theodorou in 2017 and launched in 2019, Coinstash lets its thousands of Australian users buy, sell and exchange more than 340 different cryptocurrencies through a mobile app.
“Despite the current market conditions, there’s still a loyal group of followers for crypto and also for Coinstash, so it was really good to see a lot of support from existing investors as well as new investors,” Wang told Business News Australia.
“I think more and more investors are on board with the concept of cryptocurrency, whether we’re in a bull or a bear market.
“The overall trend is cryptocurrency is getting more mainstream adoption, and they’re becoming more educated in the space and are not afraid to invest, even when the market is low.”
For Coinstash, the raise comes after the company increased its user base by more than 500 per cent in 2021, recently hitting 20,000 registers users on the platform and facilitating more than $6 million in monthly trading volume.
Wang said the company would use the funds to continue growing that user base by increasing marketing efforts, as well as improving product functionality and investing in the group’s regulatory roadmap. This includes the company obtaining an Australian Credit Licence.
“Investing in the regulatory roadmap is important because it sets us up to cross barriers for entry when it comes to solidifying our position,” Wang said.
The founder noted equity crowdfunding platforms like Birchal suited Coinstash, letting it bring on its community of users as investors and minority shareholders.
“We want to be a platform that is very engaged with our crypto community,” Wang said.
“I think that’s promoting inclusiveness which is, at the end of the day, one of the use cases of cryptocurrency as well - promoting that grassroots level participation and financial inclusion. It resonates very well with the overall messaging of the industry as well.”
In the midst of Coinstash's raise, another Brisbane-based digital currency platform Swyftx announced a $1.5 billion merger with share trading app Superhero, bringing 800,000 customers under the one group - something Wang described as very positive for the industry.
"It shows that crypto has really established itself as an asset class that, similar to stocks, is now traded by the masses," Wang said.
"It is also pleasing to see that two challenger brands that are hugely successful are joining forces to provide more value to a similar set of customers.
"As a crypto and stock trader myself, I am particularly interested to see what that user experience will be when the merger completes."
Coinstash's crowdfunding comes after cryptocurrencies were slammed across the board in May, with Bitcoin in particular dropping by about 23 per cent in a week from 4 to 11 May.
But this is business as usual for crypto according to Wang, who noted he had seen the sector go through multiple boom and bear cycles since he and co-founder Theodorou founded the company.
“Crypto has its up and downs, but as each cycles happens, the level of adoption, innovation and awareness doesn’t stop - that’s always going in a positive direction,” Wang said.
“I’m optimistic about the overall market. I think that the most recent bearish outlook is probably a bit of a ripple effect from the traditional financial markets due to interest rate hikes, the ongoing war and whatnot.
“But if you zoom out enough, the industry as a whole is always moving forward.”
Wang described the crypto industry as still being in its “nascent stage”, noting he saw lot of opportunities for Coinstash in the future.
These include international expansion plans, which Wang is particularly ambitious about.
“There are few inspirations out there like Canva and Atlassian - Australia can definitely produce multi-billion dollar companies that can be very competitive at a global level,” he said.
“With enough resources, I really aspire for Coinstash to be one of those industry leaders, not just within Australia but also in the near-term maybe within the Asia Pacific but in the long-term definitely on a global scale.”
The co-founder also hopes to eventually transform Coinstash into much more than a cryptocurrency trading platform, and sees its future as a one-stop shop for everything Web3.
“I’m currently thinking about what’s beyond financial services. One thing that’s quite obvious to us right now is asset tokenisation - can we eventually become a financial services super app where people can, for example, view their real estate portfolio in the form of tokens, or certain possessions as NFTs on Coinstash,” he said.
“These are just ideas at this stage, but there are many other use cases when it comes to cryptocurrencies that we can potentially explore.”
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