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Helium, one of the pioneer networks in Web3, has announced raising $200 million in a Series D funding round. Following this funding round, the company's valuation has increased to $1.2 billion.
Following this funding round, Helium has also announced that it will rebrand and change its name to Nova Labs.
Helium raises $200M in Series D funding round
Helium has raised $200M in a Series D funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz's a16z crypto fund and Tiger Global. Before this funding round, Helium Inc had a valuation of $1 billion. Other investors that participated in the funding round include Seven Seven Six, Deutsche Telekom, NGP Capital, GV, NGP Capital and Goodyear Ventures.
The COO of Nova Labs, Frank Mong, has said that the Series D funding round was done using equity and that no tokens were involved.
The funds raised will be used to grow Nova Labs. The team currently comprises around 60 people, but Mong says that it intends to add more engineers that will bring scalability to the Helium network and enable it to meet the growing user demand.
“We need help. Just thinking long-term, this is clearly a marathon and not a sprint. While we've had sprint-like traction, I really want the entire team and ecosystem to run like a marathon. This is, to me, a multi-decade effort,” Mong added.
Each of the companies that have participated in this funding round believes in the potential of the Helium network. Goodyear Ventures notes that it intends to use Helium's technology to power sensors situated within a car's tires and not within the wheel or the car. Notable telecom companies such as Deutsche Telekom, NGP Capital and Liberty Global are unique in this funding round.
Regarding these new investors, Mong said,
It's good to see that there's at least some incumbents in that space that are either looking at us with curiosity or with some promise.
Helium Inc rebrands to Nova Labs
By rebranding to Nova Labs, the Helium team states that it will allow users to differentiate between the Helium decentralized network, the blockchain behind the network and the HNT token.
Following this rebranding, Nova Labs will give the Helium trademark to the Decentralized Wireless Alliance, the governing body for Helium. The organization will now be known as The Helium, Foundation.
Helium currently stands out as a top network in the Web3 sector. The network was initially created in 2013 for Internet of Things (IoT) devices like trackers and sensors. The Helium miner or node allows users to share their home internet service. The signal for the service can be accessible across several miles, and users that share the network are rewarded using HNT tokens.
The Helium network is rapidly expanding, and by the end of the year, it had had a million nodes compared to the 14,000 active nodes at the beginning of 2021. Currently, there are over 680,000 running nodes.
In 2021, Helium partnered with FreedomFi to launch a 5G network for use in various devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. Mong noted that there could be a 6G, 7G or 10G network to be developed and that it needed to be ready for such an innovation. Nova Labs will work with the Helium community to support future initiatives in distributed networks.
“We really wanted to change our name to clarify that we don't own the network. We are the creators and founders, but we open-sourced it, and it's important to recognize that the people are the ones that are tirelessly growing and maintaining the network,” Mong added.
To learn more visit our Investing in Helium guide.
Ali is a freelance writer covering the cryptocurrency markets and the blockchain industry. He has 8 years of experience writing about cryptocurrencies, technology, and trading. His work can be found in various high-profile investment sites including CCN, Capital.com, Bitcoinist, and NewsBTC.