Coinbase, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced its first startup acquisition in India.
The firm is acquiring Agara, an AI-powered support platform with operations in India and the United States, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is expected to close later this year.
Coinbase said this deal would bring Agara's deep expertise in machine learning and natural language processing to the company's engineering team.
"We plan to leverage Agara’s powerful Deep Learning and Conversational AI technology to automate and enhance our customer experience (CX) tools. Improving our CX remains a top priority for Coinbase — in the past few months we have increased our support staff headcount by 5x and announced that we’ll deliver 24/7 phone support and live messaging by end of year. Through this acquisition, we’ll be able to provide our customers with new personalized, intelligent, and real-time support options" said Manish Gupta, EVP - Engineering at Coinbase, in a blogpost.
Earlier in 2021, Coinbase announced its strategy to build out a tech hub in the country and had hired former Google Pay executive Pankaj Gupta to head its India development centre.
At the time, Gupta said that they would explore startup acquisitions and acquihires to accelerate their growth plans in the country.
"We have ambitious plans for this hub in the near future — we want to hire hundreds of world class engineers in the near term. This team of engineers will be complemented by equally high quality product and design teams, as well as support functions such as recruiting and HR to build out a sustainable, well-rounded tech hub" Gupta said in July.
Founded in 2017, Agara counts Blume Ventures, RTP Global, Kleiner Perkins and UTEC Japan among its investors. Interestingly, Pankaj Gupta is also mentioned in the "board members and advisors" section on Agara's website.
Coinbase, which went public in April this year, has also backed domestic crypto exchanges such as CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber, both of which joined the country's startup unicorn club this year.