Naspers leads R30m funding in blockchain platform DappRadar

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Global Internet titan, Naspers, together with two other venture capitalists, has raised close to R30 million ($2.33 million) to invest in DappRadar, a platform for discovering and analysing blockchain-based decentralised applications (dapps).

The investors, led by Naspers Ventures, will use the investment primarily for research and development, developing new functionality to help the business expand its service and reach the next stage in its growth.

Naspers explains that dapps are applications that run on peer-to-peer computer networks, rather than on centralised machines or servers.

It adds their code is typically open source and the core function is handled by open source smart contracts deployed on a blockchain.

Due to the nature of blockchain technology, the company notes, a decentralised application’s data is transparent and cannot be tampered with, enabling the community to build on top of it without requiring permission.

DappRadar tracks over 2 500 dapps across six blockchains, including Ethereum, EOS and TRON, with plans to expand to others.

The company filters through dapp data, removes fake and irrelevant activity, and provides actionable market intelligence. Dapps are tracked in terms of their active users, token volume and transaction activity to provide insight into the trends in the dapp ecosystem. DappRadar has become the starting point for dapp discovery and acts as a distribution channel for dapp developers that are looking to reach new consumers.

Skirmantas Januskas, DappRadar CEO and co-founder, says: “In the short time since we founded DappRadar, we’ve seen the technology mature quickly and its commercial prospects are clearer. With Naspers Ventures’ international consumer expertise and Blockchain.com’s industry knowledge, we are in an excellent position to harness this momentum to expand our business further.”

This is the latest start-up business in recent years that Naspers has acquired or invested in, as it pursues global dominance.

In May 2017, the group invested $99 million (R1.3 billion) in Kreditech and also provided convertible loan funding of EUR20 million (R315 million) to the German online lender. Following the investment, the group holds a 38% effective interest in Kreditech.

In November 2017, the group invested $100 million in global digital money-transfer service Remitly, acquiring a 23% stake.

This year, alone, Naspers had acquired Turkish digital payments start-up Iyzico, which it said would help its subsidiary PayU tap into untapped markets.

In July, as one of the largest technology investors in the world, the company made a EUR30 million further investment in Dott, a European micro-mobility company.

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