Valr: Story, Founders, Investors & Funding Rounds
Launched in 2019, VALR is a digital asset platform that allows customers to buy, sell, store and transfer Bitcoin and 60 other cryptocurrencies – the widest selection of any platform in Africa – seamlessly and securely.
It has so far processed over US$7.5 billion in trading volume and serves over 250,000 retail customers and 500 institutional clients from across the world.
VALR is also a digital-asset platform headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, that allows customers to buy, sell, store and transfer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seamlessly and securely.
It offers a vast selection of digital assets. VALR’s mission is to help build a financial system that recognizes the oneness of humanity.
VALR is the only exchange in Zambia to offer local currency order books, and a full-service digital asset exchange and trading platform.
Traders have access to market information, as well as the ability to place limited orders and access the platform through VALR’s mobile app, web app, and API.
The VALR app is available on the App Store, Google Play, as well as the Huawei AppGallery – making it easy for anyone to get started in crypto.
How it Works
Signing up for a VALR is a simple and quick process and you can get access to a wide range of crypto assets in less than 5 minutes.
However, Once you have submitted your personal information for verification, you cannot change these details manually.
You can create up to two accounts with VALR. One is your account and the second is an optional corporate account for your business.
VALR does not offer greater than 1 account per individual or corporate entity at this time.
Additionally, they take security very seriously at VALR and they link the device you used to sign up for your account to your profile. If you use a different device, you’ll need to authorize this new device.
When you attempt to log in on a different device or from another location, you’ll be notified of this and asked to authorize the change via email.
Verification & KYC
“KYC” stands for “Know Your Client” which is a process of verifying the identity of customers of a financial institution to determine any risks associated with financial crimes such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
VALR is committed to providing a platform that serves society and as such remains vigilant that our platform is not used for any illicit activities. To accomplish this, they need to verify particular personal identity details for all customers.
KYC processes can sometimes be cumbersome which is why they use AI and machine learning technology to get you fully verified in under 5 minutes.
To become a semi-verified customer, you will need to provide your name and address and verify your mobile phone and email address.
To become a Fully-verified customer, in addition to providing your name and verifying your mobile number and email address, you will need to provide a government-issued ID (e.g., identity card/book, passport, or driver’s license).
To become a Fully-verified PLUS customer, after becoming a verified customer, you will need to enable 2FA using an Authenticator app on your account.
VALR accepts international customers from nearly all countries around the world.
However, they cannot serve customers from any country on an international sanctions list nor are they able to provide services in some countries where the cryptocurrency regulatory environment is restrictive.
The security of your account is a top priority because VALR’s dedicated cyber-security experts put in place many measures to secure and protect your account and assets.
The most likely scenario for a security breach of your VALR account is user-specific, where someone gains access to your sign-in credentials and uses these to access your account information and funds.
Phishing is an attempt by malicious actors to obtain your sensitive information (such as usernames and passwords) by disguising themselves and making you believe they are a trusted institution like VALR.This information is then used to access your account and steal your funds.
In essence, a phishing attempt will try to get you to provide your sensitive details voluntarily by making you believe you are communicating with VALR, when in fact you are giving your information to a malicious actor.
Phishing practices can use different forms of communication such as emails, SMS text messages, Whatsapp messages, social media posts, or online advertisements.
Whenever you submit any sensitive information to VALR (such as your username and password during sign-on), make sure you are communicating with VALR and not someone pretending to be VALR (such as a fake website).
Several years ago, amid the Greek debt crisis, soaring gold prices, and the credit downgrade of the US federal government, Farzam set out to deepen his knowledge about our fragile global financial system to understand what can be changed so that it can better serve humanity.
Over the last few years, this journey has taken Farzam through Global Markets, Group Treasury, Investment Banking, and Private Equity divisions as part of RMB’s Class Of a programme.
He recently helped establish the Foundery, RMB’s FinTech unit, where he is currently leading RMB’s Blockchain Initiative.
Farzam believes that blockchain technology will be as transformative to our financial system as the internet has been to the world.
Farzam previously worked at McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg, Deloitte Consulting in San Francisco, the Baha’i World Centre in Haifa, and the United Nations in Nairobi.
He studied economics at the University of California – Berkeley.
Badi Sudhakaran is the Co-Founder & CPO at VALR.
Investors & Funding Rounds
100x Ventures, 4Di Capital, Michael Jordaan, Bittrex.
VALR has raised R57 million (US$ 3.4 million) to advance the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
The Series A equity round of funding was led by 100x Ventures, the investment arm of 100x Group which is behind cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform BitMEX, with participation from SA-based 4Di Capital and continued support from former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan and US-based Bittrex.
VALR will use the proceeds from the capital raise to build new products and services, expand into new territories, and continue to build its team of professionals, particularly in the technology, regulatory and compliance, and client service domains.
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