Non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem technology platform GuardianLink.io has raised $12 million in a Series A funding round led by Kalaari Capital and a private investor group, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
GuardianLink.io plans to use the funds to expand the company’s design labs in Japan and Singapore and enhance the technology brand’s creative development capabilities and deepen its curative NFT packaging foundation, the company said.
The NFT market is rapidly gaining traction in India, with celebrities from cricket and the film industry, popularly known as bollywood, launching digital assets in a bid to make thousands of dollars by cashing in on rising interest in such assets.
NFTs help establish ownership of digital assets on the blockchain as they can be applied to any industry, such as digital art, e-commerce, collectables, gaming, entertainment, animation, real-world assets, and others.
Kalaari Capital, a Bengaluru-based venture capital firm, has been investing in technology-focused startups in India and recently led a $2.5 million funding round in edtech startup Creative Galileo. It had also led a $2.3 million funding round in Leading Bird Web Services Pvt Ltd, which operates diagnostics-focused startup ConnectedH.
Kalaari Capital’s investment in Guardian marks the venture capital firm’s first investment in the NFT space.
“Metaverse-based economy will be a key disruptor and NFTs are going to play an instrumental role in powering the digital economy of the future. The applications will extend across major industries including Gaming, Fashion and Retail,” said Vani Kola, managing director, Kalaari Capital.
Guardian had launched its NFT marketplace platform in 2020, and currently supports more than 40 NFT markets globally. Guardian has installed more than 45 marketplace cloud platforms with built-in Anti.Rip technology to prevent NFTs from getting copied and its Secure Vault based Legitimacy protocol.
“With NFTs becoming a critical part of asset monetization for creators, athletes, artists and brands - Guardian has been on the forefront of the race to build and operate some of the largest marketplaces and most advanced creative NFTs in the space,” said Ramkumar Subramaniam, co-founder, CEO, GuardianLink. “..this funding will be further instrumental in helping us build a stronger NFT ecosystem in India and across the globe,” he added.
The growing craze for NFTs in India has also been leading to startups in the space raising funds, in a bid to expand. Last week, NFT startup Lysto raised $3 million (Rs 22.25 crore) in seed capital from BEENEXT, Better Capital, Cloud Capital and other investors. Another NFT platform Hyy.pe in October raised $2 million in a funding round led by Elevation Capital.