5ire, a fifth-generation level-1 blockchain network, has raised $100 million (approx. Rs 799 crore) in a Series A funding round at a valuation of $1.5 billion, becoming one of the fastest unicorns born out of India. UK-based conglomerate SRAM & MRAM Group led the round.
Layer 1 refers to a base network, such as Bitcoin, BNB Chain, or Ethereum, and its underlying infrastructure. This network can validate and finalize transactions without the need for another network.
Founded in August 2021 by Indian-origin entrepreneurs Pratik Gauri and Prateek Dwivedi, along with web3 financier Vilma Mattila, 5ire is a blockchain ecosystem that focuses on sustainability, technology and innovation to build the 5th industrial revolution (5IR). It empowers decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and working groups to help accelerate the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), therefore facilitating the transition from the 4IR to 5IR.
It claims to be a sustainable blockchain and has built its own blockchain validating mechanism called ‘’proof of benefit’, which works along the lines of 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals and various ESG parameters.
The company’s primary offering is 5ireChain, a first layer, sustainability-driven 5th generation blockchain that ensures adherence to the philosophy of 5IR, creating a net positive impact on the planet and service humanity.
“We are on a mission to embed sustainability into blockchain and shift the current paradigm from ‘for-profit’ to ‘for-benefit’. The 5ire team has worked round-the-clock to develop a platform that combines both technology and processes for the benefit of humankind,” said Pratik Gauri, CEO and Founder of 5ire.
“Becoming the world’s first and only sustainable unicorn born out of India, in just 11 months, is testimony that we are on the right path. We are humbled by the trust shown in 5ire by the SRAM & MRAM group and thrilled to find a partner who also wants to promote the transition of the world from the 4th Industrial Revolution to the 5th Industrial Revolution.”
According to the startup, the raised funds will be used for expansion and extending its footprint across three continents including Asia, North America, and Europe, with India as the hub of operations and core area of focus. Notably, the startup says 70% of its workforce is India-based.
It also plans to hire talent across functions like the product, engineering, and marketing. Prior to this round, 5ire had raised a funding of $21 million in its seed round at a valuation of $110 million from Alphabit, Marshland Capital, Launchpool Labs, and Moonrock Capital, among others.
Besides this, the blockchain startup also runs 5ire VC, a venture capital firm & 5ire Labs, a research and development hub.