Indian crypto exchange WazirX’s co-founder Nischal Shetty’s Blockchain Start-up, Shardeum, raises Rs. 145.6 crores.
Indeed, for Indian crypto exchange WazirX co-founder Niscahl Shetty this is the time of great cheer as his start-up company Shardeum has managed to raise a whopping $18.2 million ( Rs. 145.6 crores) in its seed funding round.
The Switzerland – headquartered start-up announced the same on Tuesday, and its current valuation is at $199.1 million.
The seed money came in from over 50 investors – Jane Street, Struck Crypto, The Spartan Group, Big Brain Holdings, DFG, Ghaf Capital Partners, and Foresight Ventures, and other strategic investors like CoinGecko Ventures, Wemade, ZebPay, Jsquare, MH Ventures, Nestcoin, Veris Ventures, Tupix Capital, Mapleblock Capital and NetZero Capital.
The start-up, which has a small group of 29 employees who operate from different countries around the world like India, the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil, hopes to use the fresh funding round to ramp up company marketing endeavours as well as grow Shardeum’s development team.
It also hopes to boost Shardeum’s dynamic sharding technology further and focus on the development of its ecosystem, focusing on product and design development.
The company’s strategy included actively hosting hackathons in India and the US to provide a platform to incentivise developers to develop and grow the Shardeum ecosystem.
What Is Shardeum All About?
Shardeum is an Ethereum virtual machine-based sharded blockchain, which means anything that works on Ethereum can work on Shardeum.
Sharding generally refers to splitting a blockchain’s structure into smaller pieces to improve scalability, a noted difficulty with the Ethereum blockchain, speeding up transaction times, and lowering fees. Shardeum can scale infinitely, expanding transactions per second as demand increases.
According to Nischal Shetty, Shardeum operates a lot like traditional websites, where if the website receives a lot of traffic, one adds a server, so it expands.
The same concept applies to Shardeum, where there’s a lot of traffic every time, and one needs more transactions, adds more nodes, and increases the transaction capacity.
What are the growth plans of the company?
According to Shetty, Shardeum sees India as a major market, and he plans for Shardeum to enter other emerging markets as well.
The capital raised will be put towards hiring more employees, expanding the company’s network and increasing its community.
The start-up is looking to accelerate its Web3 adoption in targeted emerging economies, including India.
Shardeum’s Web3 plans include reaching over 1 billion users in the next five years, and for these plans to be fulfilled, the need to build an infrastructure and support its growth is necessary for the present.
Shardeum also aims to solve the existing shortcomings of Blockchains, such as Ethereum, including low scalability, high fees, and low throughput.
Which Indian Start-ups have received funding in 2022
The Indian start-up ecosystem is currently witnessing a slowdown in financing because of myriad factors that are also affecting the global economies, which have considerably slowed down.
Indian start-up ecosystem witnessed $885 million in funding across 102 funding rounds in August 2022, which is 20 per cent less funding amount as compared to July 2022, according to Tracxn’s August 2022 report on the Indian Tech Startup Space.
Sectors attracted the most funding from investors in August 2022 include continued learning, alternative lending, e-commerce enablers, and investment tech. Edtech unicorn UpGrad announced a significant funding round of $210 million in August, as it plans to hire 2,800 full-time and part-time faculty in the next three months.
Pune-based fintech start-up EarlySalary is another company that raised a large round of $110 million this month. It provides instant loans to young salaried individuals. Further, August saw nine acquisitions, including Fintech unicorn Razorpay acquiring Ezetap, a provider of POS solutions, for $200 million.
Regarding cities, Bengaluru led in the total funding raised this month, followed by Mumbai and Delhi. Beenext, LetsVenture, Accel, and Blume Ventures did the maximum number of deals, making them the top investors in August.
21 Indian Start-ups That Entered The Unicorn Club In 2022
Fractal, LEAD, Darwinbox, DealShare, ElasticRun, LivSpace, Xpressbees, Uniphore, Hasura, CredAdvenue, Amagi, Oxyzo, Games24x7, Open, PhysicsWallah, Purplle, LeadSquared, OneCard, 5ire, Shiprocket, Tata 1mg,
Fractal: AI and advanced analytics solutions start-up, Fractal’s latest round of funding made it the first entrant into the unicorn club in 2022. The Private Equity round saw $360 Mn raised from TPG Capital Asia and a secondary share purchase from funds advised by Apax Partners.
LEAD: Mumbai-based start-up LEAD was the first edtech start-up to enter the Indian unicorn club in 2022. The company has raised $100 Mn in a round led by WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures in January, positioning it at a valuation of $1.1 Bn.
Darwinbox: Hyderabad-headquartered Darwinbox raised $72 Mn in a funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) in January this year, making it the third Indian unicorn minted in 2022. Existing investors like Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners, 3one4Capital, JGDEV and SCB 10X also participated in the round.
Deal share – 2022 saw Deal share entering the unicorn club at a valuation of $1.62 Bn. The Bengaluru-based social commerce start-up raised $165 Mn in a Series E funding round. The round saw participation from existing investors, Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Incubation, alongside new investors, Kora Investment, DF International Partners and Twenty Nine Capital Partners.
ElasticRun: Pune-based ElasticRun was the first start-up to enter the unicorn club in February. The Kirana commerce start-up raised $300 Mn in fresh funding led by Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank. It also saw the participation of New York-based Goldman Sachs, Proses Ventures (earlier known as Naspers Ventures), Innoven Capital, and Abu Dhabi’s Chimera Investment, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Group.
Livspace: Home renovation and interior platform, Livspace became the sixth unicorn of the year. The Series F round saw $180 Mn raised from American investment giant KKR & Co, Swedish retail giant Ikea, Jungle Ventures, Venturi Partners and Peugeot Investments. Livspace has grown close to $450 Mn across ten funding rounds.
Xpressbees: The Pune-based start-up is the latest entrant to the Indian unicorn club of 2022. It raised $300 Mn in its Series F funding round led by private equity funds Blackstone Growth, TPG Growth and ChrysCapital. Existing investors Investcorp and Norwest Venture Partners also participated in this round. Xpressbees’ total funding touched $500 Mn, putting the company at a valuation close to $1.2 Bn. India now has four logistics unicorns, including Delhivery, Rivigo and BlackBuck.
Uniphore – became the 8th Indian start-up to enter the unicorn club in 2022 after it raised $400 Mn at a $2.5 Bn valuation. The funding round was led by NEA and saw the participation of its existing investors.
Hasura – became the 9th Indian start-up to enter the unicorn club in 2022. The GraphQL developer Hasura raised $100 Mn from Greenoaks Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Vertex Ventures in its Series C round in February 2022.
CredAvenue: Chennai-based CredAvenue has become the 10th Indian start-up to hit the $1 Bn valuations. The fintech start-up raised $135 Mn in its Series B funding round led by New York-based Insight Partners. B Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group were the new investors who participated in the round. The round also witnessed existing investors such as Sequoia Capital, Lightrock, Lightspeed Ventures, and TVS Capital.
Amagi – Media-focused SaaS start-up Amagi has become the 11th Indian start-up to join the unicorn club after it raised $95 Mn in a funding round led by Accel. Existing investors such as Norwest Venture Partners and Avataar Ventures also participated in the round
Oxyzo – the financial arm of the B2B commerce marketplace OfBusiness has hit a billion-dollar valuation by raising one of the largest Series A rounds. The start-up raised $200 Mn from Alpha Wave, Tiger Global, Norwest Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and Creation Investments. This is Oxyzo’s first institutional funding round.
Games24x7 has become the 13th Indian unicorn of 2022 after it raised $75 Mn in its recent round led by Malabar India Fund. Other participants included its existing investor, US-based hedge fund Tiger Global. The start-up will receive the investment in two tranches — with the first tranche including an investment worth $32 Mn and the rest coming in from the same clutch of investors.
Open – Bengaluru-based neo-banking start-up Open becomes the country’s 100th unicorn after raising $50 Mn from IIFL. The round also saw participation from its existing investors, including Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, US hedge fund Tiger Global, and 3one4 Capital. The latest funding helped Open’s valuation soar past the $1 Bn mark.
PhysicWallah: The edtech start-up, PhysicsWallah, also known as PW, has become India’s 101st Indian start-up to hit the billion-dollar valuation. This news comes more than a month after the country witnessed its 100th unicorn.
Purplle: Nykaa rival beauty ecommerce start-up Purplle entered the billion-dollar valuation club in June 2022 with its Series E funding round. Para mas Ventures, Premji Invest, Blume Ventures, and Kedaara infused $33 Mn in the Indian start-up, which pushed its valuation to $1.1 Bn.
LeadSquared has become the latest start-up to achieve unicorn status after raising $153 Mn in a Series C funding round from WestBridge.
This comes more than a year after it raised $32 Mn from Gaja Capital. This makes the sales automation platform India’s 21st enterprise tech and SaaS unicorn, joining the ranks of Amagi, Browserstack, and Zoho.
OneCard: Pune-based OneCard has become India’s 104th unicorn after it raised $100 Mn in what seems to be its Series D round.
The round, which pushed the start-up’s valuation to around $1.25 Bn, saw participation from existing investors such as Sequoia Capital, QED Holdings, Matrix Partners, and Hummingbird, among others.
5ire – a 5th generation Layer-1 (L1) blockchain network, is the second start-up to join the unicorn club in July, having raised $100 Mn in a Series A funding round. This round included participation from UK-based conglomerate SRAM & MRAM, raising the start-up’s valuation to $1.5 Bn. The blockchain network plans to use equity-based funding for talent acquisition, technology development, and sales and marketing.
Shiprocket – a third-party logistics (3PL) service provider, has become the latest start-up to enter the unicorn club, with a valuation of $1.2 Bn, according to Inc42 calculations.
The start-up raised $33.5 Mn in a Series E2 round led by Lightrock India. Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek, Bertelsmann, Moore Strategic Ventures, PayPal, March Capital, and Huddle also participated in the round. This round comes almost ten months after Shiprocket raised $185 Mn, led by Zomato and Lightrock India.
Tata 1mg, a pharmacy and telemedicine start-up, has become the year’s 21st unicorn, with a valuation of $1.09 Bn.
The start-up raised close to $40 Mn in a funding round led by Tata Digital. Other investors in the round included KWE Beteiligungen AG and HBM Healthcare Investments, among others.