Shardeum, a blockchain startup, has managed to raise $18.2 million (₹1,482,674,364) in a recent seed funding round, according to an announcement made on 18 October.
The fund will go toward hiring more product and design development team employees, expanding its network, and increasing its community, as per the company. The aim is to create a platform that offers developers incentives to encourage them to build Shardeum.
Shardeum will also use the fund to host hackathons in India and the US next year.
The company co-founded by Nischal Shetty, who also started crypto exchange WazirX, raised the funds from over 50 investors, including Jane Street, Struck Crypto, and the Spartan Group. Other investors in the round included Big Brain Holdings, DFG, Ghaf Capital Partners, and Foresight Ventures. The funding round also included renowned investors in the crypto space, like CoinGecko Ventures, Wemade, and ZebPay.
The funding comes amid the ongoing crypto winter which has led several crypto projects to bankruptcy. Some such projects that have run into trouble include the Celsius Network, Three Arrows Capital, and Voyager Digital.
Shardeum was launched in February 2022 by Shetty and blockchain architect Omar Syed. It was created with the aim of providing greater scalability, faster transaction times, and lower fees, while maintaining a high level of decentralization. Shardeum is a sharded blockchain based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), so anything that works on Ethereum can run on it.
The funds will enable Shardeum to join the ranks of many other cryptos, like Tezos and Polkadot, which are trying to compete against Ethereum. Blockhains like these try to identify Ethereum’s shortcomings, with a view to beating it.
At the heart of Shardeum’s popularity with funders is the issue of scalability. Blockchains like Ethereum not being able to keep up with growing market demands hinders their wider adoption. Shardeum’s primary goal is to fix this, “especially in emerging markets like India,” according to Shetty.
The network is slated for launch by the end of the year, according to Shetty. No specific date has been announced yet. Once it does go live, though, the startup hopes to acquire 25 million users in India and target other emerging markets, such as Africa and Southeast Asia.
Shardeum’s native utility token, SHARD ($SHM), will be released alongside the mainnet.