Level-1 blockchain network, 5ire, has raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion in a Series A round of funding from UK-based conglomerate SRAM & MRAM Group, becoming India’s 105th unicorn and 20th in this calendar year.
Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, for example, are level-1 blockchains.
5ire, which is still pre-revenue, expects to start generating revenue from November, and hit a billion-dollar revenue mark in three years.
The startup, which was founded by Indian-origin entrepreneurs, Pratik Gauri and Prateek Dwivedi, along with web3 financier Vilma Mattila, in August 2021, has become one of the fastest Indian startups to reach $1 billion valuation.
5ire claims to be a sustainable blockchain and has built its own blockchain validating mechanism called ‘proof of benefit’, which works along the lines of 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals and various ESG parameters.
In an interview, Pratik Gauri, co-founder and chief executive officer, 5ire, didn’t disclose the size of the stake that was diluted in the Series A round, but said that the three co-founders were holding a majority stake in the company.
5ire’s latest fundraise follows a $21 million funding in its seed round at a valuation of $110 million last October with participation from both private and institutional investors such as Alphabit, Marshland Capital, Launchpool Labs and Moonrock Capital.
The last funding round was mostly deployed on talent acquisition, building technologies, filing patents as well as sales and marketing.
“A big part of the funding went to that, but we are still left with 49% of the money raise from the last round,” said Gauri.
The company also has a standing commitment for a $100 million investment from GEM Global Yield LLC SCS (GGY), which is based on filing for a public listing.
According to 5ire, the fresh capital will be used for business expansion and extending its footprint across three continents, including Asia, North America and Europe, with India as the hub of operations and core area of focus. The startup’s 70% employees are based out of India.
Apart from this, 5ire plans to boost its headcount to 150 from 105, at present.