India’s thriving ecosystem of 4 million developers, experienced tech operators, and a well-knit web3 community seem to have caught the attention of global investors, who have committed to invest millions of dollars in Indian web3 start-ups.
Last week, venture arm of Coinbase (American cryptocurrency exchange), Coinbase Ventures along with Buidlers Tribe announced a startup pitch session for Indian web3 companies and has allocated a prize pool of upto $ 1 million for winners. This was closely followed by UAE-based VC firm, Cypher Capital allocating 40 per cent of its $ 100 million blockchain fund to invest in Indian crypto and blockchain startups.
Similarly, US-based investment firm General Catalyst said it is bullish on India and noted Web3 as one of its focus investment areas. Speaking to BusinessLine about the growing interest of global investors, Vaas Bhaskar, Principal at Elevation Capital said, “the Indian engineering talent pool is among the largest in the world (4-5 million developers) and a growing number of them are transitioning to Web3. Further, India also has a large number of tech operators with deep expertise across domains needed to build large global companies along with a rapidly developing ecosystem and a well-knit Web3 community. ”
As Bhaskar puts it, “this is a strong tailwind which cannot be under-estimated.” Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of WazirX agrees, “India has a large Crypto user base of over 25 million and this number is projected to grow to 100 million in the next three years. No investor wants to miss such a large target market opportunity. Indian startups that are building for Web3 have an unfair advantage of understanding the local markets better than others. ”
Shetty also noted that Indian engineering talent is taking a special interest in Web3. A lot of new engineers are learning Solidity and other programming languages to create smart contracts for blockchains.
Building in India for the world
Given its borderless nature, Web 3 offers a level-playing field for builders from all geographies to build for the world. Kashish Sharma, CEO EquityList and founder of early-stage venture fund, Cloud Capital said, “In Web2 context, investors would at times look at models like Uber for X, Airbnb for Y. But in Web3, a lot of fundamental work has been done by Indian entrepreneurs. So it makes a lot of sense for all of foreign investors to not be ignorant of what’s happening in India, because they can not afford to. ”
Today, any business online uses the infrastructure owned by a few tech companies in the West. But blockchain is changing that, it is redefining the way companies are formed. Web3 start-ups are essentially building the infrastructure for the next internet. CoinSwtich Kuber’s founder and CEO Ashish Singhal said, “What India missed out on during internet 1.0, building TCP / IP, HTTP, browsers, or any other internet infrastructure, we get that chance now. Tomorrow’s Amazon will come from India and probably be built on blockchain, for the world to use. ”
Sequoia-backed Polygon (MATIC) is one of the prominent examples of Indian Web3 companies building for the world. It is a layer two scaling solution that solves various limitations in Ethereum blockchain. The company raised $ 450 million from Sequoia Capital along with the participation of over 40 marquee venture capital firms.
Elevation Capital believes that numerous successful Web3 companies will build from India for the world. “The environment, talent ecosystem and depth of opportunity feels very similar to the SaaS opportunity about a decade ago,” Bhaskar added.
April 03, 2022