DLT and blockchain are a billion-dollar alternative, says Pranav Sharma of Woodstock Fund

Emerging platforms akin to Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) and blockchain have began to slowly acquire acceptance as they promise safer and strong transactions. Though these platforms are nonetheless of their infancy, a number of startups are growing use circumstances primarily based on this expertise.

Woodstock Fund, a world multi-asset funding home based by Pranav Sharma and Himanshu Yadav in 2019, focusses on DLT, and is eager to again startups on this area, which additionally contains India.

In an e mail interview with YourStory, Pranav Sharma, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Woodstock Fund, mentioned, the DLT and blockchain market is a billion-dollar alternative. He additionally spoke about their plans by way of investing in Indian startups.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

YourStory (YS): Can you present a profile of Woodstock Fund and the important thing focus areas?

Pranav Sharma (PS): Woodstock Fund is a world multi-asset funding fund focussed on investments in DLT. We spend money on tokens (utility and safety), fairness, and convertibles in each the listed and unlisted area. We work diligently alongside our portfolio corporations to assist them scale and develop their ecosystem. Woodstock Fund’s present investments embrace Holochain, Elrond, Marlin Protocol, Casper Labs, and Band Protocol.

Our funding focus is on Public DLT and purposes, Decentralised Finance and Tokenisation, and Web 3.0 Protocols. We have an current fund referred to as Woodstock Capital Fund I, and we’re launching Woodstock Capital Fund II quickly.

Pranav Sharma, Co-founder & Managing Partner – Woodstock Fund



YS: As DLT and blockchain are nonetheless rising applied sciences, how do you view their future prospects?

PS: DLT and blockchain are nonetheless of their formative phases. The foundational expertise that may supply true decentralised or distributed networks which might be steady, safe, and scalable, and will be managed by lighter nodes continues to be in works. This is a holy grail and a billion-dollar alternative. Any futuristic purposes will want this community material.

Additionally, there are layers and parts of protocols wanted to make DLT and blockchain to satisfy the benchmarks set by centralised purposes. We consider a few of these parts might be valued at billions of {dollars} as these are important infrastructure of the brand new web.

Then there’s a entire new world being led by Bitcoin and Ethereum that ushered in retailer and switch of worth via wallets and good contracts. There is super innovation occurring in that space within the type of decentralised finance and tokenisation of conventional belongings. There can also be a big part of the monetary ecosystem that’s looking for danger distribution, diversification, and a hedge.

Beyond all of this, there’s a white area and an enormous alternative in software layer with community layer (i.e. DLT or Blockchain) utilising different rising applied sciences like synthetic intelligence (AI), machine studying (ML), Internet of issues (IoT), digital actuality, and many others., to construct intuitive purposes of the longer term.

So, in a nutshell, there are a plethora of pathways for this to develop into a trillion-dollar trade, and we’re excited to be a part of this.

YS: What are your India plans by way of funding into startups?

PS: We are a world fund with ecosystem improvement focussed on Asia, together with India. Our investments are due to this fact alternative focussed and agnostic to geography and jurisdiction.

As a few of our core workforce members are Indians with vast expertise within the company sector and startups, we deeply perceive the expertise of Indian expertise startup founders, builders, and the potential to make inroads into SMEs, enterprise, and authorities purposes.

We have made some investments in Indians based startup like Marlin Protocol. We are carefully participating with different critical gamers within the blockchain ecosystem in India like Matic Network, Frontier Wallet, and different high exchanges. Besides, we carefully work with our portfolio corporations in strengthening startups and their ecosystem via market and capital entry. In the previous, Woodstock Fund has organised roadshows, meetups, and linked with funds, enterprises, different blockchain startups, incubators, and accelerators in India.

We are excited concerning the Indian blockchain ecosystem, and are actively taking a look at Indian startups. We consider that India has the proper English talking developer expertise, entrepreneurial acumen, and conducive regulatory framework.

YS: What is the evaluation of Woodstock Fund concerning the Indian startup ecosystem with regard to DLT and blockchain startups?

PS: The Wave Zero of startups in Indian Blockchain ecosystem have churned or pale. Many exchanges had been a part of this wave. We are in Wave 1, the place a collective valuation of $400-500 million places the trade as a critical contender to develop right into a $10 billion valuation in 5 years’ time. These startups in Wave 1 have emerged from a crushing bear market, and are thus extra resilient. Some of them are pretty valued. We are keenly taking a look at Wave 2 startups that can seize worth because the trade evolves and market turns upbeat.

YS: In India, cryptocurrency continues to be confronted with challenges, particularly from the regulatory standpoint. How does Woodstock Fund view this?

PS: Our workforce has a background in monetary companies, company, startups, and authorized. In the previous, we now have been a part of closely regulated industries. So, we perceive that regulators are basically involved about two issues – systemic danger and cash laundering.

We know that any expertise is agnostic. Thus, the onus is on the blockchain trade and governments alike to create a framework that may encourage impactful innovation and safe our future via rising applied sciences. This is an evolutionary journey with missteps on the way in which. So, whereas the central financial institution insulated the banking system sensing systemic danger, the apex courtroom lifted the ban after critically inspecting the views of a number of stakeholders.

We consider in progressive rules (like Singapore) with parts like sandbox, pointers, trade dialogue, authorised service suppliers, and many others., in order that true innovation isn’t stifled, and it creates employment and worth in a big nation like India. We additionally consider there is a chance for varied governments and regulatory our bodies to collaborate to combine the trade with the mainstream.

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