Whrrl

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Overview

Whrrl - Loan against Warehouse Receipt on Blockchain is a layer 2 application built atop the thesis that custody/ownership of assets will be tokenized on Blockchain. With quite a few asset tokenization platforms in offing in 2018, they saw a vacant space in the lending against tokenized space. At the same time, the early team at Whrrl stumbled upon Qingdao Scandal [1]. A deep dive made them realize that warehouse receipt finance is one of the few segments where Blockchain really had a chance to add value unlike so common 'lipstick on the pig' applications of Blockchain and thus it became Whrrl's first playbook in tokenized assets lending space.

As on 10th July 2020, Whrrl is among one of the few independent Blockchain platforms live across the globe and has a presence in 1250 state of Maharastra government warehouses with $800 Million of assets (commodities) tokenized on the platform and $500K worth loans issued against these commodities stored in the warehouses.

Components

Whrrl's Warehouse Receipt Finance suite has three major components:

  1. Blockchain - Whrrl's Blockchain network is used to generate immutable collateralized warehouse receipts with near real-time digital lending made possible by smart contracts.
  2. Digital Lending & Trading Mobile Application - Helps the depositors/borrowers in the discovery of warehouses, digital borrowing and trading of tokenized assets
  3. IoT Devices - To solve the oracle problem of Blockchain tokens, viz., the veracity of quantity and quality of goods tokenized, Whrrl is working on creating certain IoT solutions that will be deployed in the warehouses.

Whrrl's entire Product Suite Demo can be viewed by clicking here.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

  1. Technology Stack
  2. Cross-function experienced Team

Weaknesses

  1. Small scale startup

Opportunities

  1. $ 15 B Warehouse Receipt Finance Market in India
  2. Rs. $ 150 B Warehousing Market for trading in India
  3. Emerging Markets Warehouse Receipt Finance Market --- $ 125 B
  4. Global Asset Based Loans Market – $ 4 Trillion

Threats

  1. Competition from other platforms
  2. Regulatory Challenges

Milestones/Goals

We have analyzed and zeroed-in on the following set of short-term milestones:

  1. Warehouse Receipt Tokenization of an additional US $100 Mn
  2. Digital Loan Issuance of US $1 Mn
  3. Partnering with at least 1 additional Bank.

Recognition

Very early during its startup journey, Whrrl was selected by Money 2020 Asia to be part of its Startup Academy in Singapore in March, 2019 and was also selected among Top 15 Early Stage startups from APAC region [2]. Whrrl further won accolades during its launch when it won the award of "One of India's most Innovative Startup" at DCB Bank's Innovation Carnival.

Accelerated at / a part of

Drop-out from following International Accelerators - University of Reno, Nevada - USA;
International Security Accelerator- Ireland;
Nestholma Fintech Accelerator - Norway.


External Links

[1] Qingdao Scandal - one of the biggest warehousing frauds
[2] Whrrl at Money 20/20, Singapore
[3] The third cohort of the Financial Inclusion Lab saw nine startups innovating for the low and middle-income segments - YourStory
[4] Meet the 9 fintech startups in the third cohort of Financial Inclusion Lab - TechCircle
[5] T-Hub, in Partnership with NPCI and DST, Selects 10 Startups for its Fintech Accelerator Program - T-Hub | NPCI Fintech Accelerator