This Indian incubator and its ‘tribe’ of experts are working closely with Web 3.0 startups on funding, advisory, community

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Started by Raghu Mohan, Pareen Lathia, and Kaavya Prasad in 2021, Buidlers Tribe is a Web 3.0 startup incubator featuring a ‘tribe’ - or a collection of existing and prominent founders, investors, mentors, and advisors from the Web 3.0 sector.
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In the last two years, global interest and adoption of blockchain, crypto, Decentralised Finance (DeFi), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has skyrocketed.

Not only have the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum posted all-time-highs, but the sector has also seen a 121 percent increase in Series A deals over a five year period in blockchain technology - making it the second fastest-growing startup sub-sector globally.

For Raghu Mohan and Pareen Lathia, Co-founders at blockchain startup incubator Buidlers Tribe, this presents an opportunity to work closely with emerging innovators in the space.

In fact, the duo believe that as the Web 3.0 and blockchain market is dynamic and growing rapidly, there is a need for equipping innovators with the skills and network to turn their innovations into a company.

“Even if you have decided to start your own business in Web 3.0, there is so much uncertainty in terms of the future. The industry evolves so rapidly that you may not know how to take the first step,” says Pareen in a video interview with BlockchainStory.

Raghu adds, “There is an abundance of capital waiting to be deployed in the space but not enough places to deploy it. Most interesting products are built by young hackers as side projects, and these projects don’t come with the expectations of becoming a company.”

The tribe

Raghu and Pareen believe Web 3.0 innovators and hackers need to go through a business journey to become a founder, and envision their incubator Buidlers Tribe as a bridge to make the journey quicker for a founder and equip them with the highest chances for success.

Having worked closely with the likes of Web 3.0 social portal Wall.app, privacy-focussed storage layer Arcana Network, decentralised video service Huddle, and CeFi-DeFi bridge Bru Finance, Buidlers Tribe features a ‘tribe’ - or a collection of existing and prominent founders, investors, mentors and advisors from the Web 3.0 sector.

“Our tribe of mentors have already built their own ventures, backed Web 3.0 companies at stages where things were still uncertain, and have a forward-thinking mindset,” explains Raghu, adding:

“It is like a hive mind of expertise and capital available to the startups we work with. Our extended circle has a lot more knowledge than us.”

Some of the experts part of the tribe are prominent Web 3.0 advisor Ajeet Khurana, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, WazirX founders Nischal Shetty and Siddharth Menon, Biconomy founder Aniket Jindal, Vauld founder Darshan Bathija, Unilend founder Chandresh Aharwar, Covalent co-founder Ganesh Swami, and many more.

A customised approach

Buidlers Tribe does not follow a fixed or one-size-fits-all approach towards incubating startups. Instead, Raghu and Pareen encourage founders to reach out to them and collectively figure out how the tribe can help the startup in a unique and customised manner.

Pareen says, “We have an open calendar where people can book sessions, and we’re active on Twitter as well. Anyone can reach out and have a conversation with us, and if we like each other, we figure out the way ahead. There is no rigid structure to the process or in terms of agreements/equity etc.”

Pareen is especially excited about the rapid innovation by Indian startups and founders in Web 3.0. According to him, the current nascency of the blockchain sector feels like the early 90s of the internet era, which preceded a boom in adoption and implementation of Web-based innovations.

“Nowadays, Indian startups like Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) are building infrastructure layer pieces without which Web 3.0 apps can’t work. Going forward, there will be marketplaces and consumer apps built on top of the infrastructure. Huddle, for example, has already built such a product,” he says.

How is Web 3.0 different?

Despite the potential promise of Indian Web 3.0 startups, the co-founders find working closely with them to be quite different from incubating or scaling Web 2.0 startups.

This is primarily because the focus of Web 3.0 startups is usually to optimise for building a community-driven, autonomous network - in keeping with the tenets of decentralisation.

Raghu explains, “In Web 3.0, founders go public first and then scale. These founders are answerable to thousands of international network owners from day one and are held to their word and promises by this community. Their end goal is to exit and leave the power in the hands of the community.”

“Further, a regimented one-size-fits-all programme cannot keep abreast of all the changes in the market. Knowledge is constantly evolving, and so, a small alumnus, partners of an incubator and their extended community couldn’t possibly give a founder everything they need,” he adds.

Thus, even as blockchain technology continues to find many more use cases in the digital realm, Buidlers Tribe is growing and incentivising a global tribe of experts and investors who will fund and mentor upcoming Web 3.0 projects and networks.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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