(Bloomberg) --

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins co-led a funding round by crypto company Rain Financial at a valuation of $500 million, joining backers including Coinbase Ventures as digital currencies rapidly gain ground in the Middle East. 

Rain said its Bahrain-based subsidiary is the region’s first licensed cryptocurrency firm and one of the largest platforms to buy, sell and store the tokens. Other investors in the $110 million series B round, which was also led by Paradigm, include Global Founders Capital, MEVP, Cadenza Ventures, JIMCO and CMT Digital, according to a statement Tuesday.

Bahrain, the Gulf’s smallest economy, has been one of the Middle East’s early adopters in the digital assets space, with Rain becoming the first licensed crypto platform in the region in 2019. Last year, Bahrain’s monetary authority granted another license to Manama-based CoinMENA while Binance Holdings Ltd. recently received in-principle approval from the local central bank to operate in the kingdom.

Binance Gets Its First Gulf Crypto Regulatory Nod in Bahrain

Rain, with subsidiaries from Turkey to the United Arab Emirates, said it will use the funds to expand further in the Middle East and North Africa region and in Pakistan. It will also invest in its technology with an advanced trading platform and pledged to double its workforce to 800 by 2022. 

“We believe Rain is a crucial piece of the puzzle for bringing the Middle East deeper into the new crypto economy,” said Casey Caruso, investing partner at Paradigm. 

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