To support the development and growth of blockchain startups in India, global blockchain platform Binance along with Indian bitcoin exchange WazirX, its portfolio company, have jointly announced $50 million ‘Blockchain for India’ fund.
The fund will incubate and invest in blockchain projects and startups focused on solving industrial and social problems through the use of blockchain technology.
The fund plans to make investments in both equity and token, ranging from $100,000 to $5 million across startups dealing in fiat-to-digital assets gateway solutions, trading platforms, payment and remittance solutions, digital asset wallets, stablecoins, DeFi platforms, decentralized applications (dApps) and more.
“During the early stage, one of the major challenges for blockchain startups in India includes raising fund and scaling their platforms. Through, Blockchain for India fund, we aim to provide easy access to funding and mentoring to startups,” said Binance CEO and Founder Changpeng Zhao in a statement.
Apart from investing, the fund will also collaborate with other investment funds including VC funds to help grow the blockchain ecosystem in the country.
Besides, the selected startups will get direct access to Binance’s global blockchain ecosystem comprising of Binance Chain, Binance Cloud, Binance DEX, Binance Launchpad, Binance Research, Binance Academy, Binance X and Binance portfolio companies.
“Since the Indian Blockchain ecosystem is nascent and due to previous banking ban we’ve been behind the rest of the world by 2 years, we want to help expedite and bootstrap the ecosystem,” said Nischal Shetty, Founder and CEO of WazirX, told Entrackr.
In November 2019, Binance had acquired WazirX. The Mumbai-based bitcoin exchange claims to have over 250,000 users on its platform. Last year, Binance had also invested in India-based startups Matic Network and Marlin Protocol.
The announcement comes a week after the Supreme Court struck down the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country.
On SC’s decision, RBI made it clear that their circular had only refrained banking services from dealing in fiat currency, and it was well within its domain.
The central bank is yet to come out with a notification after the top court ruling.