Cricket NFT platform Rario raised the largest Series A round [$120 million] in April 2022. However, the mammoth round did not last even one-and-half years and now the company is facing an existential crisis.
“Rario’s investors have pushed co-founders to resign as the company ran out of money and was on the verge of bankruptcy,” said one of the sources who tracked Rario closely, requesting anonymity. “The company has burnt through the entire $120 million without a proper business model and array of regulatory challenges.”
TechCrunch reported about the exit of two co-founders: Ankit Wadhwa, (CEO), and Sunny Bhanot (CTO) on Friday.
According to sources, investors have taken control over the company and reduced the workforce. “Around 20% of staff have either asked to resign or voluntarily left Rario,” said another source who also requested anonymity. “The layoff process is ongoing and Rario may cut two-third of its workforce.”
Dream Capital, Dream Sports’ investment arm, Alpha Wave Global, Animoca Brands, Presight Capital, Kingsway Capital and Sachin Tendulkar are its major backers.
“Investors have put its CFO Priyesh Karia on the front seat (interim CEO) to run the show,” said the person quoted above. “They are now figuring out a way forward and may launch a new biz model.”
Rario re-launched its marketplace which enables trading of NFTs in December 2022 after halting the platform abruptly in March last year. Since Rario’s app is not on Google Play Store, its download numbers couldn’t be ascertained but sources said that its marketplace re-launch did not pick up.
Rario declined to comment on the story while queries sent to Dream Capital did not elicit any response yet. We will update the story in case they respond.
Sources also emphasize that the fading popularity of Web3 gaming and crypto euphoria are likely to trigger investors to either shut it down or operate with a very lean team.
We will keep our eye on Rario and let’s see how investors’ control pans out for the beleaguered firm.