5 Indian Entrepreneurs Who Are Leading the Web3 Revolution in India This World Entrepreneurs Day, we explore the journeys of five remarkable individuals who have not only embraced the potential of Web3 but have also pioneered its application in various sectors
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India has 76 million young self-made millionaires. Yes, it has its fair yet enormous share of entrepreneurs, and for all the right reasons. The country ranks as the world's third-largest startup ecosystem. While entrepreneurship had long been considered a choice for those who did not get into anything good, it now is one of the top choices for a 21st century Indian youth.
In fact, among all the choices and industries existing in the world, a new breed of entrepreneurs are emerging to disrupt a nascent industry in the country, and eventually, the world.
This World Entrepreneurs Day, we explore the journeys of five remarkable individuals who have not only embraced the potential of Web3 but have also pioneered its application in various sectors. From blockchain to non-fungible tokens and beyond, these entrepreneurs are leading the charge in India's Web3 revolution.
1. Sandeep Nailwal, Co-founder, Polygon Technology
In 2017, Sandeep Nailwal founded Polygon with Anurag Arjun and Jaynti Kanani. By 2021, its Matic was counted in top 20 crypto tokens globally.
Prior to Polygon, Nailwal was an active member of the blockchain community in India and this was where he met his co-founders. He founded ScopeWeaver.com, a blockchain start up, in 2016 but in vain.
The trio knew the potential of Ethereum but also knew the limit of scalability. And this was when the idea to develop Polygon came into the picture.
In 2021, it had a user base of over 566,516 active users, surpassing Ethereum Blockchain network. Presently, it has raised USD 451.5 million over nine rounds from 40 major investors including the likes of Sequoia Capital India, SoftBank, Tiger Global, Galaxy Digital, Galaxy Interactive, and Republic Capital.
He strongly believes in India's potential to be a Web3 superpower and is focused on guiding and motivating Indian entrepreneurs.
2. Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike
In early 2010s, before WhatsApp boomed, India had Hike. In 2012, Kavin Bharti Mittal founded Hike as an Indian internet company that developed social communication and entertainment products. From 2012-2018, the messaging application had touched a peak of more than 30 million monthly active users and has raised over $250 million.
Mittal has been a keen observer of first mover advantage, which we got with Hike. Understanding the changing shift in market dynamics, he had the bold yet applause worthy move of shutting down Hike as a messaging app in 2019.
After the closure, Mittal announced the company's pivot into building the Rush Gaming Universe, a mobile gaming application. The plans for blockchain gaming was confirmed with Polygon investing in the company. Currently, the platform has 5.2M+ monthly active users.
Mittal is also leveraging the new generative AI phenomenon and has been vocal of using the technology at Hike to develop new gaming projects such as Replicate Flappy Bird and Rush Endless Runner.
3. Sumit Gupta, Founder, CoinDCX
At the age of 19, Sumit Gupta founded his first start-up, ListUp. In less than three years, he went on to establish CoinDCX, one of the first cryptocurrency investment app in the country. With over 1.3+ crore users and 200+ coins listed, CoinDCX was established with a simple motto- Investing in cryptocurrencies shouldn't have to be so hard.
In less than three years, it achieved a unicorn status, becoming the first Indian crypto exchange to achieve the feat. It has raised USD 247M over seven rounds with USD 135.9 M being raised in Series D funding last year.
Gupta is also focused on nurturing and supporting upcoming Web3 entrepreneurs through CoinDCX's investment arm- CoinDCX Ventures.
4. Nischal Shetty, Founder, WazirX
"In 2017, the Bitcoin bull run began. It took me a week to buy my first Bitcoin. That's when I realized there was a large gap that needed to be filled with making cryptocurrency accessible which led to building WazirX," shares Nischal Shetty, Founder, WazirX on his official blog.
The entrepreneurial bug bit Shetty early in his career, he always wanted to start something of his own and the Bitcoin boom gave me a problem to solve.
With over 12Million+ users, WazirX offers trading options in cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH, XRP, TRON, SOL, ADA, and DOGE among over 200 cryptocurrencies.
"Today there are two big reasons for people to own a crypto wallet - for buying an NFT, or to trade cryptocurrencies. Tomorrow, there might be 10 such big reasons," he shared.
Currently he is also building Shardeum, a community driven, sharded, infinitely scalable, truly decentralized layer 1 blockchain.
5. Pratik Gauri, Founder and CEO, 5ire
Blockchain has been one of the core foundations of the Web3 ecosystem. However, it has its fair share of concerns especially when it comes to being sustainable.
"Proof of work" is the original consensus mechanism used by most cryptocurrencies to legitimize transactions. However, it is not sustainable in nature as the network requires a huge amount of processing power to reach consensus on new data blocks.
5ire, a fifth-generation level 1 blockchain network, was founded by Pratik Gauri, Prateek Dwivedi and Vilma Mattila in 2021. Aligning sustainability with profitability, 5ire works on 'proof of stake' rather than 'proof of work'.
"The heart of the blockchain is consensus, and 5ire's consensus follows what you call a sustainable proof of stake model, which nobody else is following. The way we have designed the consensus architecture is that anybody who follows more sustainable practices has a higher chance of making more money in the system," shares Pratik Gauri, founder and CEO, 5ire.
It is the fastest growing blockchain unicorn in India and the only sustainable blockchain unicorn in the world.