Cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance has set up a $50 Mn fund for blockchain technology in India. The ‘Blockchain for India’ fund plans to invest an average ticket size of $100K to $5 Mn per startup through cryptocurrency — Binance Coin, Binance USD and WRX coins.
Binance is looking for startups that will open direct access to its global blockchain ecosystem for India’s entrepreneurial community. This can include fiat-to-digital assets gateway solutions, trading platforms, payment, and remittance solutions, digital, digital asset wallets, decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms, and decentralised applications.
Changpeng Zhao, Binance founder and CEO, said, “When our team visited India last year, we saw that the blockchain startups were witnessing tremendous challenges in fundraising and scaling projects to meet growing consumer demands.” Therefore, the company decided to designate a special fund for blockchain startups in India.
Besides the capital, the cryptocurrency exchange platform will also provide proper mentoring to the startups, from the leaders within Binance’s network — Binance Chain, Binance Cloud, Binance DEX, Binance Launchpad, Binance Research, Binance Academy, and Binance X. Binance Group’s acquired companies, Mumbai-based WazirX, Hong Kong-based DappReview, and San Francisco-based Trust Wallet will also join in as mentors.
The cryptocurrency exchange company is also looking to support Indian universities and student organisations, who want to set up blockchain incubators in India. “We have more new initiatives in our pipeline that we will be coming out within the next few months to help build the Indian blockchain ecosystem from a broader scope, including project funding, technology and talent development,” said Zhao.
The announcement comes a few weeks after the Supreme Court of India lifted the banking ban on cryptocurrency trading in India. The apex court ruled that the Reserve Bank of India’s circular of April 6, 2018, which banned the trading of cryptocurrency, is illegal. However, RBI has appealed the decision and sought a review.
Binance says that the next phase of mass adoption of cryptocurrencies will arise from developing nations like India. Over the last 18 months, Binance Group has been actively focusing on the Indian blockchain market. For instance, it facilitated fundraising for India-based startup Matic Network through Binance Launchpad. Then, another project called Marlin Protocol raised $3 Mn seed round from Binance Labs. Besides this, Binance X has invited Indian blockchain startups for a fellowship programme.