Crypto exchanges are akin to ISPs (internet service providers) during the early days of the Internet - they provide the all-important access and on-ramps onto a new paradigm of the internet. While digital information was central to the first wave of the internet, digital money is central to this next wave.
Rain is the easiest, fastest, and most reliable gateway into crypto-assets in the Middle East today. It was the first crypto exchange to be licensed in the Middle East by the Central Bank of Bahrain in 2019. Since then it has enabled anyone in the region to buy, sell and store digital coins in a safe, reliable and compliant way.
We're excited to co-lead their Series B, and with this investment round, Rain will be expanding its footprint across the MENA region, Pakistan and Turkey, soon providing access to the crypto economy for almost 1 billion people. This is a “super-region” with the world’s fastest growing populations that is coming of age in the crypto internet, likely leapfrogging the rest of the world with its use.
While a unique regulatory framework serves an important purpose for every sovereign nation, limiting or slowing access to the crypto economy will limit the upward potential of people and their economies in the future. Regulation for crypto is happening at the country level, which makes building a crypto-asset company a regional endeavor - not unlike Telcos and ISPs 25 years ago.
It was a serendipitous encounter at a downtown Palo Alto gym almost 10 years ago with Joseph Dallago, a summer intern at SurveyMonkey, that was the beginning of it all for us. It was the first time Joseph had met a venture capitalist - and the perfect opportunity to pitch his startup that he was working on at the University of Iowa with his long-time friend AJ Nelson. A few days later AJ flew in from Iowa and joined Joseph with perfectly laminated business plans. A few startups later came Rain. We always knew we’d find a company to work together on, and there’s no better time than now. Make it Rain!