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Rain, the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Bahrain and the Middle East, has announced it raised $2.5 million in a seed round led by BitMEX Ventures. Other investors to have contributed to the round include Blackwater, a Kuwait-based cryptocurrency fund; Vision Ventures Talibah; and 500 Startups.

For the uninitiated, BitMEX Ventures is the venture capital division of the leading cryptocurrency derivative platform BitMEX.

Rain first rose to prominence after it established direct contact with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in Feb 2017 to make sure that it becomes the first-of-its-kind platform to allow access to CBB’s Regulatory Sandbox. 

The company then closely collaborated with the Kingdom’s regulatory bodies for more than two years to give the authorities a firsthand account of the still-nascent industry along with recommendations to optimize the existing regulatory apparatus. A number of cryptocurrency exchanges followed Rain’s lead over the next couple of years and joined CBB’s Sandbox.

Explaining the company’s decision to lead Rain’s recent seed round, Arthur Hayes, Co-Founder and CEO of BitMEX, said: “BitMEX Ventures is devoted to encouraging greater global access to cryptocurrency trading as we start to see the maturation of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class. As the first licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East, Rain has an unprecedented opportunity to tap into the incredible potential that cryptocurrency trading will bring to the region. 

Hayes added that BitMEX remains confident on Rain’s ability to introduce a greater diversification to the crypto investors in the region. 

Rain, meanwhile, stated that the newly raised fund will help it more efficiently manage growing customer requirements and incorporate new technologies.