India represents a great potential in the form of a growing group of startups working on web3 projects, and the same can help more Indian entrepreneurs make it big globally, according to Rajan Anandan, managing director at Sequoia Capital.
In conversation with Shailendra Katyal, managing director for Lenovo PC and smart devices, India at the Lenovo Tech World India conference, Anandan stated that web3 startups in India make for ones with some of the greatest potential among businesses working on software-based products.
“Look at Indian startups in the web3 space, some of them are doing great work – and not just in the crypto space. While there have been some question marks in terms of whether the government would consider crypto to be legal in India or not, startups working on blockchain based web3 projects in India have continued to grow,” Anandan said.
He further added, “In the web3 space, there is no such concept as building for India specifically – or any regional restrictions of the sort. As a result, this window represents a great opportunity for Indian web3 startups to grow globally and take their products to the rest of the world.”
Anandan has for long been bullish about the web3 space – which comes as part of his overall focus on software-led ventures at Sequoia Capital. In December 2021, speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2021, Anandan had said that Indian startups have great potential to become among the global leaders – and affirmed that through Sequoia, he has already invested in 19 web3 startups in the second half of 2021 alone. However, he had warned that for full-scale growth to happen, the Indian government will need to sort out regulatory issues – and allow this sector to flourish to the best of its abilities.
Web3, or Web 3.0, represents the next generation of the internet. It is conceptualised on blockchain or distributed ledger platforms, and involves decetralising the overall structure of the internet. Cryptocurrencies make for one of the most prominent applications of web3 ventures.
In India, while the government has clearly stated that there will be no blanket ban on all technologies related to blockchain or web3, the impending cryptocurrency regulation bill is expected to impose specific restrictions on how crypto tokens are traded and used in the country. Union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has already announced that India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, is working on a digital version of India’s fiat currency, the rupee – to bring a central bank digital currency (CBDC) into the mainstream fold.
However, the eventual fate of private crypto tokens based on private blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ether, remain to be seen. Anandan, however, cited Polygon’s example to suggest that despite such roadblocks, Indian web3 startups can continue to grow and make it big in the global blockchain technology space.