Introducing Hashed Emergent
Hashed Emergent is a venture capital fund dedicated to incubating the web3 industry in emerging markets, particularly in India. We are an offshoot of Korea’s largest web3 investment firm - Hashed. This blogpost captures the story of our genesis, our main theses and approach, and our 2022 year in review.
Hashed was formed in mid-2016 when five tech entrepreneurs came together to discuss the Ethereum whitepaper in Seoul, Korea. The value proposition of Vitalik Buterin’s 0 to 1 innovation - a globally distributed, permissionless, smart contract platform - was immediately apparent to our founders. They were confident in their belief that a decentralised internet with an embedded protocol economy would be the next big wave of change. Thus, the group adopted the 'decentralisation' thesis and started making investments in the fledgling ‘web3’ space.
The following core theses have guided Hashed’s investments in the last 5+ years:
Decentralised organisations with open governance will become more competitive than their centralised counterparts.
Real world assets will be tokenized or digitized.
Human activities will migrate from the real world to the virtual world.
The Origin of Hashed Emergent
In 2020, Hashed set up its venture capital arm Hashed Ventures and launched its first fund - Hashed Venture Fund I. The fund made investments across the globe, including in India. Indian investments were made through Tak Lee - Hashed’s Venture Partner for the Indian market. In 2021, Hashed Ventures launched its second fund - Hashed Venture Fund II - and doubled down on its Indian portcos with follow-on investments.
By year-end 2021, the Hashed leadership team and Tak took a decision to launch a dedicated team and fund for making web3 investments in India and other emerging markets. Thus Hashed Emergent was set up.
In early 2022, Hashed Emergent launched its first fund - Hashed Emergent Fund I - and established a base of operations in Bangalore, India. Today, Hashed Emergent is a cross-functional team of 16 members based in Bangalore, Dubai, Philadelphia, Seoul and Singapore.
Our main investment theses
At Hashed Emergent, we have three main investment theses:
Emerging Markets: Blockchain technology will be most widely adopted and have greatest impact in emerging markets, especially in spaces where it is deemed a necessity rather than a luxury.
Indian founders: Indians, especially Indian founders, will make up the largest chunk of the web3 community in emerging markets.
Web2.5: Pragmatic founders with a focus on scalability and compliance will emerge as winners first.
We believe that the technological solutions offered by web3 are particularly relevant for the needs of people in emerging market countries. Our focus regions are Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and South East Asia.
Our experiences in India have shown us that India has evolved from the software outsourcing capital of the world, to the software manufacturing hub of the world. Foreign firms are establishing bases in India not for the cost arbitrage, but more for the quality of developers on hand. Indian founders have evolved from ‘tech talent’ to global tech leaders. They are no longer back-office employees, but are leading global corporations from the front-lines.
The next natural progression of this cycle is the emergence of Indian founders with aspirations to build global giants from the ground up in new-age whitespaces like web3.
Simultaneously, we expect to see the development of India into a global web3 software R&D hub. The fact that India has a large and fast growing tech talent base, the sheer headcount of English-speaking tech-native Indians, the abundance of domestic experience and success in the web2 startup industry, and a culture rooted in democracy, makes us confident that Indians will take a significant chunk of the web3 market.
Finally, in order for founders to build successfully for emerging markets, they must optimise for scalability to achieve mass adoption. There is a large addressable market in these regions and projects that don’t optimise for scalability are likely to hit a cap in their growth while market demand still remains. At the same time, in an increasingly regulated web3 environment, founders must remain wary of upcoming regulations and adopt a prudential and proactive approach to compliance. This ‘web2.5’ approach will be necessary for onboarding a large user base in emerging markets.
Our full-stack approach with a long-term focus
At Hashed Emergent we firmly believe that much like the internet itself, web3 holds the power to change our social fabric. It represents a powerful restructuring of entrenched systems, and can result in a net positive outcome for society at large. However, tech-penetration alone will not be sufficient to bring the web3 vision into reality. There is a need to highlight the benefits of web3 and evangelise its general social utility.
Mindful of the same, we have adopted a full-stack approach to our organisational structure and mindset. In addition to traditional forms of end-to-end portfolio support, at Hashed Emergent, we intend to make targeted and long-term efforts at incubating the web3 ecosystem in our focus regions. At present, this full-stack approach includes our ecosystem and policy efforts, which are targeted towards building web3 communities and unlocking regulations respectively. With time, we hope to add more elements to our ‘full-stack’ firm.
Our 2022 year in review
For over a year now, Hashed Emergent has been operating on the basis of the principles mentioned above. In this period of time, we have achieved some significant milestones as we continue to chart a path into the web3 space in emerging markets.
You can read more about our activities in 2022 here.
Reach out to us on social media to join us on our journey.
WAGMIT - we are all gonna make it, together! 🚀
Thanks for reading Hashed Emergent’s Substack!