Indian crypto exchange WazirX’s co-founder Nischal Shetty is in advanced stages of talks to raise around $20-30 million in the maiden funding round for his blockchain startup Shardeum, two people aware of the development told VCCircle.
The Spartan Group, Struck Crypto, Big Brain Holdings and Cogitent Ventures are among some of the investors who are likely to participate in the round.
The seed funding round proposes to value the startup at about $200 million, according to a report by TechCrunch, which first reported about the development.
"Our funding round is currently ongoing, and we look forward to sharing more information on how we’re working to accelerate web3 adoption in emerging economies like India. The next 5 years will see Web3 reach over 1 billion users and the time to build infrastructure to support this growth is now,” said Shetty in a statement.
Shardeum is an EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)-based, scalable smart contract platform that provides low gas (transaction) fees while maintaining decentralization and security through dynamic state blockchain sharding, according to its Shardeum website.
Shardeum is named after the technique called sharding, in which a database is partitioned into shards, enabling more crypto transactions to be processed, verified and validated simultaneously.
Shetty’s new venture is anticipating processing over 100,000 transactions per second with 100,000 nodes and will maintain a latency of 10 seconds, the TechCrunch report said.
The funding round comes at a time when WazirX is under the scrutiny of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Earlier this month, ED conducted searches on one of the directors of WazirX parent Zanmai Lab Pvt Ltd, which operates cryptocurrency exchange WazirX.
It also froze the exchange’s bank balances worth Rs 64.67 crore for assisting accused Instant Loan APP Companies in laundering of fraud money via purchase and transfer of virtual crypto assets.
This comes after Pankaj Chaudhary, Minister of State for Finance, on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that the probe agency had issued a notice under the FEMA Act to cryptocurrency exchange WazirX before this occurrence.
Due to its spat with Binance over ownership, WazirX could be facing a reduced number of crypto tokens the company allows users to deal in, and also impact other exchanges in India, which depend on WazirX for liquidity.