Antler India to invest a third of corpus in Web3, blockchain start-ups

Topics Blockchain | Start-ups

VC firm Antler’s India arm will invest a third of its $100-150 million corpus for the country into 25-30 blockchain and Web3 start-ups over the next two to three years.

Nitin Sharma, Partner and co-head at Antler India, said: “We focus on the first leg of the founder journey or the transition to Web3, and aim to be their first port of call. In terms of themes, we are currently exploring startups building  infrastructure for decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), better usability infrastructure for wallets and keys, blockchain software for institutions and gaming.”

The VC firm will look to make the investments at ticket sizes of $250,000 and above. It is also flexible in terms of pulling in more capital from its global funds to make bigger investments in some cases

Meanwhile, the Indian government is planning to table a bill to regulate cryptocurrency and blockchain-related activities in the country.

“It’s not clear that the crypto bill will address all issues clearly in one go. We take a very long-term view and of course, all our investments will be compliant in respective jurisdictions,” said Sharma.

Although the two crypto unicorns (companies valued at more than a billion dollars) in India at present are exchanges where users can trade digital assets, crypto exchanges will not be a focus area for Antler India investments in the space.

“Regarding investing in centralised exchanges, there are a few mature players in this segment already and given our early-stage focus, we are more focused on building infra for a global crypto and blockchain audience from India. Of course, the exchange business is also more contingent on regulatory clarity”, said Sharma.

Antler said it will offer Indian blockchain and crypto start-ups a global network of experienced Web3 investors, entrepreneurs, strategic ecosystem partners (Solana, Polygon, Questbook), resources, users, developers and a specialised group of more than 10 partners and experts (including founders of Xanpool, Zilliqa Research, Mudrex, Mesh.Finance, OnJuno, Persistence One, Molecule and Chainstack) for them to tap into.

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