Shardeum, a blockchain scaling project co-founded by the CEO of Indian crypto exchange WazirX, is raising funds at a $200 million valuation in a private token sale, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter and a pitch document obtained by The Block.
The project is seeking to raise $18 million in the round, one of the sources said. A Shardeum spokesperson confirmed the ongoing $18 million funding round but declined to comment on the valuation.
Shardeum is a Layer 1 blockchain network currently in a testnet form that aims to offer low transaction fees. The project has onboarded «many» investors and partners, according to the pitch document.
WazirX founder and CEO Nischal Shetty unveiled the project in February of this year. At the time, he told The Block that Shardeum plans to raise funds from venture capital firms, but those investors won’t hold a large number of its native token shard (SHM). The supply of shard tokens is fixed at 508 million and it’s unclear how many are on offer in the private sale round.
Shardeum is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of this year and the shard token’s public listing will follow after that, the pitch document shows.
Shardeum is Shetty’s second crypto venture after WazirX, which was acquired by Binance in 2019. Earlier today, India’s Directorate of Enforcement froze WazirX assets worth 647 million rupees (around $8 million) because it suspects the exchange of assisting instant loan apps to launder proceeds of crime. Shetty and a spokesperson for WazirX did not respond to questions about the frozen funds by press time.
Shardeum is using the sharding technique for its blockchain, which essentially helps increase block space for more transactions and reduces gas fees. Shetty said in the February interview that Shardeum aims to support a million transactions per second.
Several other blockchain projects, including Ethereum 2.0, NEAR and Zilliqa, are working on implementing or have implemented sharding techniques for their networks. But according to the pitch document, Shardeum’s dynamic compute and state sharding technique is «unique» — enabling linear scaling.
Since February, Shetty has shifted his focus towards Shardeum, frequently tweeting about the project to his nearly half a million Twitter followers. Shetty’s co-founder for Shardeum is Omar Syed, a former NASA engineer. He is also a creator of the Shardus technology on which the project is being built.