An internship with a top 100 blockchain project, trading in cryptocurrencies, and a law degree set 22-year-old Anurag Rao on the path to open a blockchain consultancy with friend and fellow law graduate Pranav Shivram.
Founded in August last year, Bengaluru-based Blockpact offers legal, marketing, and business development solutions to early-stage blockchain ventures right from the ideation stage. It also help projects raise funds.
“We don’t do the actual coding of the project, but we assist with everything else that it needs to get to the market, including branding, marketing, fundraising, and regulatory consulting,” says Anurag, a blockchain enthusiast for some years now.
A law graduate of CHRIST, Bengaluru, Anurag has been a crypto trader for nearly three years now. Prior to starting up, he had interned with several legal firms.
During that time, he got the opportunity to intern with Reserve.org top 100 blockchain project LGCY.
“I worked with a great team and learned a lot about the blockchain space and how things work,” says Anurag. “I eventually leveraged that experience to get a full-time role at a project called LGCY Network.”
Co-founder Pranav, who is 23, shares Anurag’s interest in blockchain. They have been friends since taking part in a debate organised by the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research.
“We would often discuss developments in the blockchain space,” says Anurag. “Eventually, we started working together, factoring in our cumulative interests.”
The pair found that alongside opportunities in the growing blockchain space, there were many ambiguities in terms of regulation, legalities, and know-how. These became the springboard for Blockpact.
At present, the startup has three core clients and is growing at 10 percent in terms of revenue. The team has also worked on other short projects. All business proposals are private and tailored to client requirements.
“We’ve worked with around 12 projects since inception and are also angel investors in a bunch of early projects,” says Anurag. “We also have plans to start a venture capital fund.”
Anurag doesn’t disclose what Blockpact charges its clients, but says the startup works on a subscription/retainer model for some projects, while for others it takes on task-based engagements for a limited period.
Blockpact currently operates at a consultancy level and is bootstrapped. It competes with traditional consultancies such as Accenture, which provides blockchain consulting services, as well as legal firms like Advomi.
According to a 2019 Research and Markets report, blockchain spends in India are expected to clock a compound annual growth rate of 47.3 percent from $289 million in 2019 to $4.35 billion by 2025.
Most blockchain startups in India are crypto-related. These include Unocoin, Giottus, CoinDCX, Instadapp, WazirX, and Nuo.
There are still a lot of regulatory challenges and grey areas that blockchain startups deal with every day.
“We are in a niche space that is nascent at this point and we consider ourselves early stakeholders in this space,” says Anurag. “While there are more experienced consultancies, we believe our understanding of the ground-level performance of any project and the practical difficulties that exist in the blockchain ecosystem, apart from the theoretical knowledge, is what sets us apart.”
On plans for Blockpact, he says the startup aims to educate people on blockchain developments in India and around the world.
“We also believe that more blockchain ventures will come up in India and our aim is to help them scale and get to the market,” he adds.