Rebrand, Raise Money: How the Helium (HNT) Crypto Is Pushing to Decentralize

The Helium (HNT-USD) network has been leading the Web 3.0 push for a while now. Looking to bring decentralized internet to the masses, Helium’s HNT crypto has been a solid investment for those looking to bank on the company’s success. Today, the network is seeing a major catalyst. Developers are stepping back to further decentralize the project, and venture capitalists are providing the network with some hefty funding.

The logo for the Helium (HNT) crypto.
Source: Shutterstock

Helium is an exciting project, bringing internet to the globe by crowdsourcing individually hosted wireless hot spots. Users can buy Helium hot spots, set them up and forget about them. Others can connect to these hot spots, which then rewards the host with HNT crypto. In this capacity, they provide a great way to earn passive income. The model also allows Helium to compete with some of the world’s biggest internet service providers (ISPs).

And as today shows, these rivals recognize the growing support for Helium and other decentralized internet services. That much is evident by Helium’s blockbuster funding round, which saw participation from a host of telecom companies and tech entrepreneurs alike.

Helium Fundraise Sees Investments From ISP Competitors

Helium announced today the closing of its recent Series D equity funding round. And it has much to celebrate, starting with the fact that it brought in $200 million in funding. The round, led by Tiger Global, saw participation from some of the most cutting-edge venture capitalist firms in the world. Indeed, the raise saw funding from Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z firm and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six.

Two of the most notable investments come from NGP Capital, which is backed by Nokia (NYSE:NOK), and Telekom Innovation Pool, which owns a significant stake in T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS). It appears these companies, considered rivals in the ISP space, are looking to support Helium in its growth.

Another key announcement comes today as Helium’s development team decided to step back in an effort to further decentralize the network. As a part of this process, the company will be rebranding itself to Nova Labs in order to further distance itself from the Helium brand.

InvestorPlace spoke with Nova Labs Chief Operation Officer (COO) Frank Mong on the fundraise. Mong says that the funding will help it greatly expand. “It’s important that we drive [Helium] forward and continue to grow the massive community and support them anyway we can,” he says. “Part of the Nova Labs investment round is going toward hiring more developers, educating more people on the Helium crypto and the Helium network itself and driving usage of the network.”

Driving Usage of Helium (HNT) Cryptos Remains Key After Nova Rebrand

One reason this funding is so crucial is because the Helium development team is quite small. Maintaining a healthy community is what allows the network to operate as seamlessly as it does. Plus, growing the Helium user base will only help it in the long run, driving growth for the HNT crypto.

“We rely heavily on our ecosystem,” Mong says, “and that’s why we open-source everything. [The Nova Labs team is] about 60 people in total. And a lot of what we do is deploy and develop key improvements to the entire network based on what the community asks for.” Therefore, adding developers to the team will allow Nova Labs to better respond to the needs of a growing community.

The second priority of this funding is in continuing to outperform traditional ISPs in 5G deployment. Indeed, since September of last year, Helium has been rapidly expanding its own 5G network to compete. And it is giving these companies a run for their money; as of today, there are over 650,000 hot spots connecting the Helium network all over the world.

“I think most people understand that 5G is a massive endeavor,” he says. “It’s taking the incumbents so long to deploy in the U.S. just because of the physics and territory; 5G is a really short range radio wave. Because of that — and because the U.S. is a huge country — it’s taking forever using traditional methods to deploy that network. This is where I feel like Helium and a distributed model of building wireless networks is perfect for that. Having funding to drive more 5G with helium in the future is something that we’re preparing for.”

On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Brenden Rearick is a Financial News Writer for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team. He mainly covers digital assets and tech stocks, with a focus on crypto regulation and DeFi.

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