India Adds Another Crypto Unicorn Just as Rules Start to Tighten

Indian blockchain network 5ire has become the country’s latest crypto unicorn after securing $100 million in series A funding.

The startup received funding from UK-based conglomerate SRAM & MRAM for business expansion across Asia, North America, and Europe. 

“This investment makes 5ire the fastest growing blockchain unicorn in India and the only sustainable blockchain unicorn in the world, valued at $1.5 billion,” the company said in a statement.

Unicorn is the term used in the venture capital industry to describe a startup company with a value of over $1 billion.

Third crypto unicorn for India

5ire will continue to invest in strengthening its blockchain further and work towards ensuring this decentralized technology benefits a larger base globally, said the company. 

The firm aims to generate revenue by Nov, when its mainnet launches. 

It also claims to be the first and only sustainable unicorn in India, being “for benefit” rather than “for profit.”

Previously, 5ire had raised a funding of $21 million in its seed round at a valuation of $110 million, with participation from both private and institutional investors.

Pratik Gauri, CEO and co-founder of 5ire, said: “The 5ire team has worked round-the-clock to develop a platform that combines both technology and processes for the benefit of humankind. Becoming the world’s first and only sustainable unicorn born out of India, in just 11 months, is testimony that we are on the right path.”

Domestic regulatory flux

The announcement comes amid regulatory flux in India.

Recently, India’s internet association disbanded the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), distancing itself from the crypto space. 

And as the country’s central bank continues to raise risk concerns around private crypto, three other homegrown platforms have been accused of flouting know your customer (KYC) and money laundering rules.

The probe also covers India’s first two crypto unicorns – CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber.

Speaking at the G20 Ministerial Symposium on Tax and Development in Bali, India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman reportedly claimed that entities are being set up for tax evasion purposes through investment in non-financial assets like crypto.

“While the development of crypto asset reporting framework is underway, I call upon the G20 to examine the feasibility of an automatic exchange of information in respect of other non-financial assets beyond those covered under the Common Reporting Standards (CRS) like immovable properties as well,” she said.

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