India’s Latest Blockchain Unicorn 5ire Valued at $1.5B

India’s “first and only sustainable unicorn born out of India” has picked up considerable funding at a time when others firms face layoffs


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • The startup’s Series A follows a seed funding round in October where it was valued at the time for $110 million
  • 5ire’s CEO said the journey to unicorn status took around 11 months in total, making it the fastest of its kind to do so in the country

Blockchain startup 5ire has become India’s latest blockchain unicorn in record time following a $100 million Series A funding round with a valuation of $1.5 billion.

UK-based international conglomerate SRAM & MRAM was the sole investor for the self-styled 5th generation “sustainable” blockchain ecosystem, according to a statement on Friday.

5ire joins crypto exchanges CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX in assuming unicorn status, whose valuations need to exceed $1 billion in order to qualify.

India is fast becoming a fintech hub for newly established businesses. As of June 29, the country is home to 104 unicorns with a total valuation exceeding $ 336 billion, according to research firm Invest India.

Funding will go towards business expansion while extending its footprint across three continents including Asia, North America and Europe, the startup said. India is to remain its main hub of operations and core focus.

The round extends upon its $21 million seed valuing it at $110 million in October of last year. Its fresh injection of capital will also go towards bolstering its blockchain dubbed 5ireChain as well as hiring efforts, the startup said.

Valuations and raises like these in crypto are fast becoming rare given the economic outlook paired with industry-wide layoffs. Still, some see a vision for continued growth during the crypto market downturn.

“The 5ire team has worked round-the-clock to develop a platform that combines both technology and processes for the benefit of humankind,” 5ire’s CEO Pratik Gauri said. “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.”

Up until now, little has been known about the startup. Its ecosystem includes a blockchain and venture capital arm as well as its research and development hub, 5ire Labs, according to its webpage.

Founded by blockchain proponents Gauri, Prateek Dwivedi and Vilma Mattila in August of last year, 5ire said it aims to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Those lofty goals include a collection of 17 interlinked global aims designed to reduce poverty, affect climate change and improve gender equality, among others.

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