Today, I am incredibly excited to share that Luno has been acquired by New York-based Digital Currency Group (“DCG”).
As our earliest investor, participating in our seed round all the way back in 2014 and investing in us throughout our Series A and B, DCG has really been with Luno from the start. This also means that I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with DCG’s founder, Barry Silbert, for nearly 7 years now. I can still vividly recall conversations with Barry about the future of crypto when we were just 5 early Lunauts sitting in a small room (and now we’re nearly 400 across 7 offices!).
Barry and I always knew that we were very much aligned both in terms of our culture and long term vision: to upgrade the world to a better financial system. So it’s incredibly exciting to now be able to work together more closely to achieve this, and build one of the world’s most important financial services companies.
When we started Luno, we certainly did not set out to sell the company. We always valued our independence and unique culture, and have fortunately always had strong growth in all the countries we’ve launched, allowing us to continue to be in a very strong financial position to this day.
That said, as the industry has evolved over the past few years, it became clearer to me that the most effective way to upgrade the world to a new, better financial system - at scale - is by having a company and business model that is deeply integrated across the entire industry and value chain, and importantly also one where these parts are able to maintain their own identity and brand whilst ‘loosely coordinating’ between one another.
There is only one crypto company in the world that has managed to lay the right foundation for this, and that is DCG. So when the opportunity came up to become a fully-fledged part of the DCG family, we took the opportunity without any hesitation.
What does this mean for Luno? In short, it will enable us to reach our target of upgrading 1 billion people to a better financial system by 2030, a target we set for ourselves a few years ago, faster and better than if we did it completely on our own.
While our customers can expect some exciting additions going forward, a few things won’t change: My co-founders, Timothy Stranex, Pieter Heyns, and I will continue to build Luno and also become shareholders in DCG, with a few of our existing investors also joining us for the next stage of our journey.
Luno will continue to be run independently, maintaining and building on the incredible culture (aka our Moontality) we already have. There will be no change to how customers can buy, sell, learn or store their crypto, with safety and security continuing to be our top priority.
A huge thanks to all our incredible current and former Lunauts, our amazing customers, our board members and investors and all our family and friends that have helped to write the Luno story so far, and get us to this next exciting phase of our journey.
For us, this journey can be characterised in three major parts:
Episode 1 was being founded and finding the right business model, initially pivoting from building the first crypto systems for major banks (as ‘Switchless’) to a direct to consumer business (‘BitX’).
Episode 2 was around building out our new brand, Luno, and showing that we had the skill and determination to scale our business across some of the hardest markets in the world, building a dominant position in Africa and Southeast Asia, and now expanding into Europe, all with very limited resources.
Today marks the start of Episode 3, where we can take what we’ve done at a relatively small scale, finally turn on all the rocket boosters, and take this rocket ship to the moon!
Co-founder & CEO