Bangalore chapter of Graviton's pan-India Buidler Hunt roadshow
Graviton's standard investment terms include an initial cheque of up to $50K for each startup, in addition to technical grants, mentorships, and follow-up fundraise assistance

Graviton, a leading web3-focused accelerator for emerging markets, has announced its first cohort – comprising seven Indian startups – in the web3 space for 2023. Graviton is backed by 10 of the world’s leading blockchain VCs.

The startups are: Spydra, Strive, Zoth, Wall, GETSecured, and Fetcch. Other than these six, Graviton has also brought onboard a seventh team that is currently operational in stealth mode.

Since opening up for applications in December 2022, Graviton received more than 350 applications from exciting Indian startups operating in the web3 infrastructure space, involving DeFi payments, decentralized identities, real-world asset tokenisation, NFT trading, GameFi and more. From these applications, seven teams were shortlisted following multiple levels of evaluation, before being accepted into the cohort.

Graviton typically makes an initial investment of up to $50,000 in each of its startups, besides offering mentorship, enviable networking opportunities with global VCs, and access to future institutional funding. Generous technical grants from global web3 brands are also part of this package.

Graviton is helmed by Founder & CEO Arpit Nik (GP at GravityX Capital, ex-WazirX, ex-Zoomcar) – an entrepreneur and web3-focused product builder. He is joined in this mission by a globally distributed team, with key verticals being managed by industry leaders such as, Jeffrey Broer (VP, Mulana Capital) who serves as Graviton’s Program Director; Vishal S (GP at GravityX Capital), who leads Portfolio Development and Collaborations; Shomprakash Sinha Roy, who runs Graviton’s marketing outfit; and Hasan Ansari, who leads charge at the Founder’s office, and others.

Arpit Nik
Arpit Nik

Celebrating the launch of the first cohort, Mr Arpit Nik said: “We understand the need and potential for web3-focused acceleration in India, considering how difficult it usually is for an early-stage founder to apply and receive the necessary capital, grants, infrastructure, and mentorship support that they need to succeed in this space. The domestic web3 space has a lot to contribute in terms of asset tokenization, monetization and solutions that bridge the gap between DeFi (decentralised finance) and CeFi (centralised finance).”



Graviton’s Program Director Jeffrey Broer added, “It’s definitely not easy for startups to raise money in a bear market, but there are still a lot of VCs with available funds that are going to be poured into the ecosystem.” He also pointed out that some of the key differentiators such as a demonstrated capacity to build for web3 (a team with strong credentials), a clear product roadmap, and the vision to scale-up an idea for mainstream adoption were instrumental in making these seven startups to be the top contenders, from the pool of applicants."

Graviton’s first cohort of product builders are privileged to be supported by industry stalwarts and mentors such as Arjun Kalsy (ex-Growth lead at Polygon), Karan Ambwani (India Lead, dYdX Foundation), Parth Chaturvedi (Crypto Ecosystem Lead, CoinSwitch) and many other senior web3 experts, who are committed to help Graviton-backed startups.

Global technology ecosystems such as Sei Network, Chainlink Foundation, dYdX, Eclipse, Spheron, and more have also teamed up with Graviton to provide a generous selection of grants and credits to early-stage founders accepted into the programme.

Graviton’s capital backers include 10 of the world’s leading blockchain VCs – namely Hashkey Capital, NGC Ventures, G1 Ventures, Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC), Ascensive Assets, Moonrock Capital, Stacker Ventures, 369 Capital, MH1 Ventures, and GravityX Capital, alongside some prominent angel investors in the web3 space.

About Graviton Web3 Accelerator

Graviton Accelerator is a cohort-based web 3 accelerator program providing a platform for Indian founders and builders to fast-track their growth. The 16-week cohort cycle includes live learning sessions by experts, problem-solving sessions with peers, and access to a crypto-native community allowing for a deeper network and shared learnings that can be leveraged throughout the product development cycle, culminating in an assisted fundraise during Demo Day.

The first cohort members

Spydra (Co-founders: Manish Tewari and Ashwath Govindan)

Spydra is an enterprise-facing, low-code asset tokenisation product, where both online and offline assets can be tokenized on-chain. Manish Tewari and Ashwath Govindan are both from IIT Varanasi, and are building Spydra together.

Manish is famous in the Indian startup space as the former founder and CEO of Koovs.com - India's first e-commerce firm to get listed on a stock exchange. Previously, he had co-founded the mobile ad-tech company Pokkt.com (raising $7M) and PiggyRide.com, an ed-tech platform that raised $3M and expanded to 15+ countries.

Ashwath has previously spent 15 years at Microsoft, developing security and identity solutions. He later focused on blockchain, working to expand its enterprise adoption and collaborating with government and private entities.

Strive (Co-founders: Kartik Mehrotra & Sanhitha Napa)

Strive is a utility protocol that enables monetisation, renting, trading and sharing of NFTs, alongside an SDK for NFT projects, and a utility marketplace that allows trading, staking, airdrops, digital events, and more.

Kartik (ex-Deloitte, ex-UC Berkley) and Sanhitha (ex-Almora) started building Strive in 2022 as a holistic infrastructure layer for NFT trading. Kartik gained his first web3 exposure as a Blockchain Researcher at UC Berkeley. He worked in blockchain consulting at Deloitte and helped raise 15M for an early-stage startup. He also launched a web3 fund with over 15x returns in a single year.

Sanhitha, with over five years of experience in crypto, began as a Quantitative Analyst at Almora. She has worked extensively on tokenomics, whitepapers, DeFi modelling, and ESG compliance before co-founding Strive.

Zoth (Co-founders: Koushik Bharghav and Pritam Dutta)

Zoth is an alternative assets investments platform that brings liquidity to real-world assets, focused on enabling the tokenization and on-chain trading of high market-cap assets such as gold.

Koushik (ex-UC Berkley, ex-AB Inbev) and Pritam (ex-Unilever, ex-ISB, ex-INSEAD, ex-NUS, ex-Stanford) started building Zoth in 2022, to bring on-chain liquidity for RWAs. Koushik has previously researched blockchain tech at UC Berkeley, and worked as a Research Assistant at NTU Singapore and ASTAR IHPC.

Pritam has previously led AB-Inbev's Digital Ventures arm, created successful fintech and web3 initiatives, and founded Eagle10 Ventures - a network of 1500+ HNIs and UHNIs who invested $15M in 25+ companies, resulting in 2 exits.

Wall (Co-founders: Anuj Kumar Kodam and Amarnath Jayanthi)

Wall is a web3 community growth platform that creates interactive and incentivized quests for new users, tracking their journey via on-chain proofs and data dashboards. Wall aims to solve for user-acquisition in the web3 space, at a time when mainstream adoption solutions are in huge demand.

Anuj (ex-IIT Kharagpur and IIM Calcutta) and Amar (ex-SingularChain, ex-Gitcoin) are building Wall together. Anuj is a former professional poker player who has previously worked in the founder’s office at Ola, while Amar is a seasoned sales leader and serial entrepreneur with a deep understanding of web3 communities.

GETSecured (Founder: Tamaghna Basu)

GETSecured is a one-stop security, risk assessment, and due diligence platform for both retail and institutional investors. It leverages community insights in order to build actionable investment intelligence. The start-up’s analytics help potential investors objectively assess the volatility, security, and risks associated with web3 projects.

Its founder, Tamaghna, has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, tech, AI & web3. He has previously founded other start-ups, and has won 20-plus innovation awards from organisations such as Polygon, ETHNYC, ETHIndia, Solana, Mastercard, NPCI, and the Government of India. He is also an internationally celebrated keynote speaker, trainer, and a powerful LinkedIn influencer.

Fetcch (Co-founders: Mandar Dange and Satyam Kulkarni)

Fetcch is a decentralised payments connectivity network connecting users, wallets and dApps. The protocol will allow wallets and dApps to issue cross-chain, composable wallet IDs to users, giving them a single identity to connect to any number of addresses from any chain.

Mandar (ex-Influenco, ex-Jina Health, ex-Frontrow) has always been a champion of emerging technologies. Previously, he had built a health-tech product using the Government of India's Unified Health Interface (UHI) API, scaling it up to 25,000 monthly active users.

Mandar has also successfully built and exited Innfluenco Studios, prior to founding Fetcch.

Satyam serves as the CTO at Fetcch, with expertise in distributed systems, compilers, VMs, and blockchain technology. He is passionate about decentralization and building UX-friendly products. Satyam loves coding in various languages, with his favourites being Go, RUST & Elixir.

Aside from his time at Fetcch, Satyam also contributes to open-sourced projects, and has previously worked with Komet (wallet) and built Bayze.

Stealth Mode Start-up (Details to be revealed soon)

Other than these six start-ups, Graviton has also brought on board a seventh team that is currently operational in stealth mode. Details about the seventh team and its founders, are expected to be announced prior to Graviton’s Demo Day, where all the cohort participants will pitch their “evolved-state” variants to an extensive network of web3-focused venture capital firms, who share Graviton’s mission to empower and enable India’s rapidly emerging web3 space.


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