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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Hear from the founder of a blockchain-powered platform that raised nearly US$10m in SBR's Hottest Startups Panel Briefing 2018

Gaurang Torkevar will argue how ICOs and VCs can co-exist in the startup scene.

With blockchain being the new buzzword in Singapore’s startup space, it is hard to pinpoint startups that could offer value to the scene and contribute to the conversation around the decentralised technology.

But Indorse is not one of them.

Founded in 2017 by Gaurang Torkevar, David Moskowitz, Avadhoot Kulkarni, and Dipesh Sukhani, Indorse is a blockchain-powered social network for professionals.

Unlike other platforms where users can make any claim about themselves and report it as gospel truth, Indorse requires users to attach proof of the claim they make on the platform. If someone claims to be an expert in NodeJS, they have to put up a claim and attach documentary proof where other members in the same domain can ‘indorse’ their skillset.

Indorse uses internal rewards, called Indorse Rewards, and a reputation system, coined as a user's Indorse Score, to incentivise members to add their own skills and accomplishments, as well as 'indorse' the skills and accomplishments of others.

In this exclusive interview with Singapore Business Review, hear more from Gaurang Torkevar, one of the founders of this innovative platform as he discusses digital token sales as a viable funding method along with venture capital.

What are the positions that you've previously held that contributed to who you are as an entrepreneur today?
I have been working in the tech and startup scene since 2011. While working in e-publishing in India, I built my first startup. Soon after that, I came to Singapore, completed my Masters, and have been working in several startups along the way including my current project, Indorse, which is a decentralized social network for professionals. Each of these experiences taught me a huge amount, and gave me deep insights into the tech industry, both as a founder and as an employee.

What are your key business philosophies?
I deeply believe in the lean methodology of startups and like to be agile while building a product. I personally think that building a great product that users love is the most important thing a startup can do. I also believe that it is very important to push the limits at a startup, there should be no room to slow down.

Tell us about how you started your startup and your significant milestones
I started Indorse along with David Moskowitz, Avadhoot Kulkarni, and Dipesh Sukhani back in 2017. Indorse is our second blockchain startup, the first being Attores, which enables data and documents to be shared securely, with full traceability and auditability using smart contracts. Both David and I have been in the crypto space for more than four years now, and we are deeply immersed in the local community.

We started Indorse because we could see a gap in existing social networks, the way endorsements are done and the way that skills are validated. Blockchain technology and token model economics provided us with a unique opportunity not only to disrupt the existing systems in a meaningful way but also reward users for sharing their data and their participation in the network. We completed our ICO in September 2017, raising over US$9 million at the prevalent prices, and have been focusing on building a great product ever since. In April this year, we launched our platform on the Ethereum mainnet, and we already have more than 25,000 users and are one of the few ICO companies in the world who have already begun making revenue.

Can you give us a glimpse of what you will talk about at the 20 Hottest Startups Panel Briefing 2018?
It will depend on the panel, of course, but I would like to talk about topics such as the technical details of building a blockchain application, challenges while executing our ICO, and how ICOs and VCs could co-exist in the current market ecosystem.

Singapore Business Review’s 20 Hottest Startups of 2018 Panel Briefing will be held in Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on 29 August. To know more about the event, click here.

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