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Nischal Shetty led Shardeum raises $18.2 Mn in seed round


Shardeum, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-based sharded blockchain which enables infinite scalability and atomic cross-shard composability, has scooped up $18.2 million in one of the largest seed rounds.

The round includes over 50 investors with prominent ones such as Jane Street, Struck Crypto, The Spartan Group, Big Brain Holdings, DFG, Ghaf Capital Partners, Foresight Ventures as well as strategic investors such as CoinGecko Ventures, Wemade, ZebPay, Jsquare, MH Ventures, Nestcoin, Veris Ventures, Tupix Capital, Mapleblock Capital and NetZero Capital.

According to the company, it’s now valued at around $200 million.

The proceeds will be allocated towards ramping up the company’s marketing efforts along with growing the development team to further enhance Shardeum’s sharding technology and ecosystem development, the company said in a statement.

Over the next year, Shardeum will be actively hosting hackathons in India and the US and providing a platform that incentivizes developers to build and grow the Shardeum ecosystem. The company (Shardeum Foundation) is based in Zug, Switzerland.

Founded by Nischal Shetty, founder of Wazirx and Omar Syed, Shardeum is EVM-based Layer 1 blockchain which uses sharding to increase TPS (transactions per second) with the addition of every new node while retaining atomic composability. The platform provides low gas fees forever while maintaining decentralization and security through dynamic state sharding.

The company has designed an architecture which allows for atomic cross-shard composability to resolve the UX issues developers and users face in current sharded blockchains. The company aims to accelerate the transition to Web 3.0 by providing a platform that enables decentralized user experiences that are better than centralized competitors at scale.

Many influential angel investors including Balaji Srinivasan, Mayur Gupta, Michael Montero, Pankaj Gupta, Harsh Rajat, Nakul Gupta, Ajeet Khurana, Ravi Adusumalli also participated in the round.

Shetty’s previous startup WazirX was under Enforcement Directorate investigation for alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act. The law enforcement agency also conducted raids at the premises of the company’s director and frozen bank account/s to the tune of Rs 64.67 crore in August. Within a month, WazirX informed that ED unfroze the bank accounts of cryptocurrency exchange and the company continued its banking operations as usual.

Before the incident, Shetty and WazirX’s other co-founder Siddharth Menon reportedly shifted their base to Dubai, amid increasing scrutiny on the crypto space in India. Many crypto and web3 startups have shifted their base to Dubai and other countries due to regulatory hurdles in India. Meanwhile, the central government also indicated that the RBI would like to ban private cryptocurrencies in India, but that it would wait for the global regulatory environment of crypto to evolve further before proceeding with newer regulations.

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