The first edition of the Starfleet Program in India organised by blockchain investment firm, AE Ventures and IBC Media, an Indian innovation management company, announced the three startups – Drife, Hypermine, and Pontis as the winners at the Demo Day that proceed to receive a venture investment as well as go-to-market opportunities in the EU and EMEA region, support in technology implementation, business development, marketing, and legal affairs. AE Ventures also announced a partnership with the International investment companies CV Labs and Woodstock Funds, providing the startups with access to the partners’ international ecosystem, facilities, and network. The winners will now have the opportunity to attract investment from AE Ventures and go through active due diligence by Woodstock Fund and CV Labs.
The announcement was made at the Starfleet Demo Day, a virtual conference with over 350 participants attending from across the globe on May 8, 2020, where the 7 selected start-ups battled it out. The event was attended by several leading innovators across blockchain and start-up space including keynote speakers Rama Devi (Officer on Special Duty (OSD), ITE&C Department, Government of Telangana), Shradha Sharma, Chief Editor, and Founder, YourStory, Wei Zhou, Chief Financial Officer, Binance and Nikola Stojanow, CEO, AE Ventures. The event witnessed virtually across the globe also had 2-panel discussions on Startup way from adversity to success and Crisis 2002 VS 2020-Seeking the opportunity with panelists including Sriram V Iyer, Vice President and App Engineering at Flipkart, Vivek Prakash, Leading Product at BrowserStack and Co-Founder of HackerEarth, Neeraj Khandelwal, Co-Founder & CTO, CoinDCX among others.
At a time when the world is hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer investors or VCs are committing funds to the market, the Starfleet accelerator programme continues to make long-term venture investments having successfully supported over 15 seed-stage blockchain startups with a total investment of $2.1 Million investment so far.
The Starfleet India began at the beginning of 2020 when 13 Blockchain Startups from India were shortlisted from a staggering 176 applications received and post the 7-day intensive training period, Genesis Week, proceeded to the second round of the incubation initiative narrowing it to 7 finalists from the pool of contestants.
“The Indian blockchain space has seen an immense development in the recent months with the multiple initiatives taken by the government and corporates alike, and we are proud to provide a catalyst with Starfleet India, wherein our selected startups, with their disruptive ideas, have demonstrated impressive progress over the course of this acceleration program. Our partnership with Woodstock Fund and CV Labs cements our commitment to the Indian Blockchain ecosystem and will be actively collaborating to explore investments in not only startups that presented at the Demo Day, but also those that will come up in future. We will continue to evaluate, guide, mentor, and provide access to our wide network, globally,” said Nikola Stojanow, CEO of AE Ventures and CBO of æternity. “We are very happy to collaborate with IBC Media and identify and work with interesting new startups in India. This only proves that together we all can achieve more, and we hope to continue to educate and invest in companies on the bleeding-edge of this new technology.”
“We started Starfleet India with the hope of giving a credible platform for the upcoming Indian blockchain startups in India. This journey has been a revelation to the technological prowess of the Indian entrepreneurial and developer ecosystem and we are very proud of the selected startups whose solutions are relevant to every individual in the society. We will continue to grow this ecosystem and enable a temperament of innovation in the future.” said Raghu Mohan, CEO, and Co-Founder, IBC Media.
The seven startups that were shortlisted for the final pitching on the Demo Day include Hypermine, Drife, Pontis, QuillTrace, Murmur, GoFinito and ESG Robo. The final three blockchain startups that successfully secured funding offers and mentoring support from the AE Ventures and IBC Media teams are:
Hypermine is a Bangalore-based startup that provides a decentralized identity management solution enabled with a single-sign-on. In its essence, Hypermine uses the underlying protocol to validate a digital signature produced by a standard blockchain algorithm in a mobile device using authentication service which is a smart-contract deployed on a blockchain. It does not rely on a central authority; it, therefore, provides a completely decentralized environment for identity management.
Hypermine envisions a world where privacy is a fundamental right, where people are given true ownership of their data.
Pontis is a DeFi solution for centralized exchanges built by a two-member team based out of Bangalore, Karnataka. The value proposition of Pontis lies in its ability to aggregate the best tools in DeFi and integrate them with the exchanges, providing a single gateway for engaging with all of them, comparing their rates and switching between them. This is built as a cross-platform plug-n-play model that is a B2B product for enterprises.
Set to disrupt the ride-hailing industry, Drife is building the taxi 3.0 with blockchain technology. Drife is a Bangalore-based startup, it aims at empowering both the driver and the rider’s community. Drife is developed with the intention of solving the current concerns in the drivers’ community, alongside enhancing the quality of rides for the customer.
This is a one-person-show that is enabled to disrupt the ride-hailing industry. The platform deals with a whole new economic model and will incentivize all the value creators equally. Drife in no way undermines the need to circumvent the obstacles of a bureaucratic world; however, in its own way, this app creates an organic system for the ride-hailing industry to thrive well on the internet.