A16z Leads $ 111 Million Helium HNT Token Sale
The rise of helium is rewarded with a token sale of $ 111 million led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Ribbit Capital, 10T Holdings, Alameda Research and Multicoin Capital have also invested, the company said on Tuesday.
The decentralized telecommunications network now has more than 100,000 hotspots, a16z said in a blog post announcing the investment. The network uses LoRaWAN technology to connect devices (think scooters, e-bikes, or environmental sensors) to the internet.
Helium is one of the few “real world” Web 3 projects to harness token-based incentives to fuel growth.
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“What Helium has done so far with telecommunications in the wireless space is almost like Airbnb allowing people to monetize their real estate in the form of a mini-hotel,” said the CEO of Helium, Amir Haleem, at CoinDesk in April. At the time, the project partnered with FreedomFi to provide a decentralized alternative to the 5G networks of the telecommunications giants.
Early progress in creating a user-powered wireless network was a key factor in the decision to invest, Ali Yahya, general partner of 16z, told CoinDesk.
“Helium’s recent advancements come at an interesting time in the larger crypto conversation,” Yahya said. “Crypto offers a new paradigm for computing that is already reaching verticals far beyond finance and money.”
The Silicon Valley venture capital firm announced in June a massive $ 2.2 billion fund for crypto investments.
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“We are proud to double our investment in the Helium network during this cycle and remain optimistic with the launch of Helium 5G expected this fall,” said Tushar Jain, Managing Partner of Multicoin Capital, who first invested in Helium in 2019..
The helium hotspots, which harness the HNT as a reward for expanding wireless coverage, are now in 112 countries, the company said on Tuesday. “Smart infrastructure” partners ranging from fleet tracking company Invoxia to Southern Connecticut University are using the network, Helium said.
HNT is up sharply in the news, from $ 14.11 per token to $ 17.35 at the time of publication.
UPDATE (Aug 10, 18:06 UTC): Add a comment by a16z.