US investment fund GEM commits $60m to Indonesian blockchain firm Ekta

Bitcoin on the blockchain .

Despite the turmoil in the global crypto market, Bali-based blockchain company Ekta has secured a $60-million investment commitment from US investment fund Global Emerging Market (GEM), the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ekta founder and CEO Berwin Tanco said the fresh funding will be used to develop Ekta’s ecosystem, which includes its NFT collections, marketplace and a hybrid exchange. “We’ll also hire more skilled developers, build our marketing team and add liquidity into our marketplace and hybrid exchange,” Tanco told DealStreetAsia.

The company has four projects — NFT marketplace, Ekta Island, Ekta portal and MetaTrees — that are currently in the development stage.

The NFT marketplace will go live in three weeks and the hybrid exchange will launch in the third quarter of this year. “For the MetaTrees project, our back-end team is developing the game and we’ve begun the community building already.”

Tanco added that the most exciting project for the company is Ekta Portal, a mini node designed for users with no previous experience in running a node or complicated hardware devices. “Ekta Portal’s whitelisting is open and our pre-mint will be ready in a few weeks,” he said.

“Ekta Portal is the first layer-one blockchain that allows you to mint an NFT, and we ship you a physical node that rewards you with our layer-one token every day,” Tanco explained.

The company is also developing Ekta Island, a blockchain-fuelled physical space that offers ‘fractional investment’ opportunities for small investors. “We will have the NFT mint by year-end for the memberships and a fractional NFT mint for the villa ownership for as little as $200. Fractional investments are great for smaller investors to be able to participate and invest in real estate even if they don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Tanco said.

The island, a real one located 20 minutes from Bali, will have various facilities, including villas, beach clubs, ‘blockchain pods’ for co-living and co-working as well as retail shops and F&B outlets.

Founded in 2021, Ekta’s founding team saw an opportunity in decentralising real-world assets through blockchain technology and offering streamlined access to displaced communities.

GEM’s commitment comes at a time token prices are plummeting amid selloffs and companies are laying off employees, which the media are calling the second crypto crash in the trading year to date following the collapse of Terra Luna in May. Ekta, however, said the commitment supports the vision that blockchain technology must tie back to real-world assets to evolve.

Support for companies developing blockchain technology in Indonesia has been seen throughout this year on the back of strong faith in the alternative asset. Since cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced a joint venture with a consortium led by MDI Ventures to launch a new exchange in Indonesia in late 2021, there have been other notable investments this year, including the launch of a $100-million blockchain fund Cydonia Capital and $113-million Series B investment in Indonesia’s crypto wallet and trading platform Pintu led by Hedosophia.

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