India is the final frontier for many tech giants to establish global relevance. Be it Google in the early 2000s or Spotify more recently, Indian users have become a substantially large market for ventures to blitz scale. India has over 700 million internet users — roughly twice the size of the population of the United States. Payment rails in India cost almost nothing in comparison with the rest of the world. This has accelerated the adoption of financial technology in the region. As one of the last bastions of free internet, India represents opportunities and challenges for those building for the next billion users.
The nation has been symbolic of everything DeFi stands for. Despite a lack of clarity around regulations, Indians have embraced and helped shape the future of open finance. InstaDapp — was one of the earliest interfaces for handling CDPs on MakerDAO and has since branched into a middleware layer for DeFi. Similarly, Aave has found substantial traction through leveraging Polygon’s scalability solution and broadening its access to a section of users that was priced out earlier.
With a developer base that ships talent to almost all major technology companies, there has never been a doubt about India’s ability to churn out tech talent. Now, a substantial number of those developers are looking to develop decentralized applications thanks to educational awareness and a great hackathon culture moulded by ecosystem enablers like Devfolio’s ETHIndia.
“We, at Jump Capital, are very excited to support DeFi alliance’s efforts to help India leapfrog at the forefront of DeFi and blockchain innovation.” — Saurabh Sharma (Jump Capital)
Lack of access to quality capital and builder networks
While both the talent and the size of the market have substantially grown over the past year — there is a lack of risk-on capital within the industry. Traditional venture firms are still trying to find their feet and western funds are figuring out the right gateways to foray in. Operator lead venture rounds in the region have been crucial for founders to be able to bootstrap and scale their network. Founders require assistance in deciding how to incorporate, seek talent, strategize go-to-market and communicate what they are building and fundraise from the right partners.
Enter DeFi Alliance — India Chapter
The DeFi Alliance has grown to over 150 member companies in its industry network and has helped over 50 startups accelerate their growth since early 2020.
Startups can apply to the DeFi Alliance Accelerator here.
The alliance is building a presence in India in order to facilitate access to not just capital but also guidance from the right blockchain ecosystem partners which can be crucial to early-stage startups. Navigating the regulatory landscape can be confusing for operators. There is also a massive opportunity to leverage the regional talent base to build products that can cater to a global audience. These are the opportunities the DeFi Alliance India Chapter aims to address.
Thus DeFi Alliance’s three pillars of support will include :
- Institutional liquidity
- Regulatory advisory
- Operational support and recruiting
The DeFi alliance will be extending its infrastructure to India with the launch of the DeFi Alliance India Chapter.
The India Chapter will be led by:
- Joel John (Ledger Prime)
- Siddhartha Jain (DefiDollar)
- Krishna Sriram (Quantstamp)
- Saurabh Sharma (Jump Capital)
We are excited to welcome the additional following inaugural members:
- Vishal Kankani (Multicoin Capital)
- Ashwath Balakrishnan (Delphi Digital)
- Sowmay Jain (InstaDapp)
- Ajit Tripathi (Aave)