Web3 and India Stack 🇮🇳

“Adding crypto to IndiaStack helps India domestically by enabling new forms of debt and equity financing for every Indian, by connecting them to global pools of crypto capital. It helps close the $250 Bn+ MSME financing gap, gives startups access to a burgeoning financial internet, and allows fast payments for remote workers and remittance recipients”

Balaji Srinivasan, Angel Investor, Ex-CTO of Coinbase

Web3 in India started with the rise of centralised crypto exchanges like WazirX, Unocoin in 2017 followed by FalconX (an institutional-grade platform with a global user base), InstaDapp (a pioneer in the deFi suite of products), Merkle Science (Advanced crypto analytics and forensics) Coinswitch, CoinDCX & more in 2018. While this marked the start of an era of new technology in India, the competitive dev talent pool accelerated the entrance of organisations like ETH Foundation in India.

“Decentralisation, Not Crypto”

Evolution of Web3 Startups from 2017

The evolution has soared from simple centralised crypto exchanges and trading platforms to advanced deFi stack like Biconomy, Claystack, Arcana & more; data and API providers like Covalent and advanced investing platforms like Mudrex.

This means that there is a shift from trading cryptocurrencies to exploring the benefits of the underlying technology.

We are proud to announce Mudrex as our preferred partner in our journey to drive compliance into this sector.

Mudrex is the world's largest crypto index investing product, dedicated to helping users make long-term investments and create lasting wealth, a Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU-IND) compliant product with a focus on simplicity and accessibility, it enables individuals to diversify their portfolios by investing in expert-curated Coin Sets.

Visit Mudrex and use the coupon code “DESCRYPT” to get 5 USDT on a minimum investment of $100

According to a NASSCOM report

    • Since 2018, there has been an increase of 138% in the blockchain and cryptocurrency jobs in India, however, it is to note that 60% of the start-ups hiring from India are based out of India
    • At a cumulative level, 11% of global Web3 talent is in India, which is now growing at an even faster rate making it the third-biggest talent pool in this sector, after the US and China. The push is encouraged by a young population, with #1 global adoption of deFi in terms of value received on-chain i.e. $88 Bn (adjust for PPP)
    • While the nation builds global products like Polygon, due to a lack of supportive laws and regulations, the base is moved to either Dubai, USA or Asian countries like Singapore & Hong Kong which have supportive regulations around Blockchain start-ups.

A Snapshot of India’s Web3 startup ecosystem in 2022

web3 startup ecosystem in india
Funding Ground in India

Similar to the adoption, crypto investments have soared in a similar fashion, as Ethereum Foundation started eyeing India as a great hub for Web3, it prompted the entrance of global and local VCs in the country.

Focus Areas for Indian Web3 Startups
    • A $260 Mn Series C investment in Coinswitch drove the total investment to over $375 Mn in 2021 alone, also making Coinswitch the second Crypto Unicorn after CoinDCX in India
    • Post the blowing up of the same, Polygon’s $450 Mn and CoinDCX’s $136 Mn investment rounds in Q1 2022 reinforced the momentum before the bear run from Oct-Nov 2022
    • Investments Raised by Indian Web3 Startups
      Median deal size across funding stages
    • Web3 is projected to add $1.1 Tn of new economic value in India over the next 10 years.
    • There are over 450 Web3 start-ups, as of Q4 2022 have got more than $1.3 Bn over the last 2 years and despite the deep bear run, 160 of these start-ups were founded between 2021 and 2022.
    • Despite the roadblocks like lack of supportive regulations, absence of awareness, lack of institutional upskilling resources and centres and negative social image, the VCs are strong on India as a global hub for Web3, Indian founders are expected to lead in web3 adoption globally, leveraging India's startup ecosystem, global innovation focus, and a large pool of talented developers
    • The rise of local VCs wanting to deploy in the economy is a bullish sign, Coinswitch Ventures with backing from 70 participants including over 100 startups with esteemed global investors, boasting prominent names like Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Coinbase Ventures, and Sequoia Capital will be deploying close to $25 Mn to support the Indian-origin founders
    • All-in-all, There has been a 15X growth in Web3 VC funding between 2015-21 with 5X growth in share of total VC funds
    • Global VCs and accelerators like Binance, DoraHacks, A16z, Coinbase & more have emerged along with big protocols like Cronos, Aptos, Polygon & more running a specialised arm to help early start-ups and disburse support in grants and early funding.
    • Local founder support communities like BuidlersTribe & Foundership have also emerged as a complete support stack for founders building in India.
Future & Growing Trends

With the ecosystem expanding horizontally and vertically, there is a strong need for a tool that helps a user (individuals and organisations) to navigate the complex regulatory framework and do accurate taxes.

    • As the SEC in the USA reacts nastily to the crypto exchanges and closes doors for the big ecosystem, there exists a BIG opportunity for India to expand their share of support and attract big money and a bright future in the country
    • Simplifying the entry in the ecosystem and making it frictionless- Wallets are the entry point to be truly involved in the saga. We saw a lot of wallets with account abstraction and other seamless features like the Obvious wallet, Rainbow wallet, Ardent, Avocado & more and call it “The wallet era”
    • Easy on-ramp and off-ramp, another step towards making entry frictionless
    • Infra Trends: For India, by Indians: Indian projects like ChainPe released a product that allows users to pay any UPI ID with cryptocurrency in the extension of fiat transactions. There were projects like UPCI and DPI seeking to comprise the advantages of UPI for crypto payments.
    • Data infrastructure projects like Ceramic provide the underlying infrastructure for decentralized social media platforms. Identity projects help users establish and prove their online identities. Some projects like Lens Protocol and CyberConnect encourage users to connect and assemble relationships.