Departure of Founders of Rario: A Shift in the Landscape of NFT Startups

Image Credit: Photo by Bastian Riccardi on Unsplash

Ankit Wadhwa, CEO, and Sunny Bhanot, CTO, are set to leave Rario, an NFT startup that had raised $120 million in funding. What does this mean for the future of the company and the industry as a whole?

Rario Founders

Image: Ankit Wadhwa and Sunny Bhanot, founders of Rario.

The Change in Command

“Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example.” – Unknown

According to confidential sources, key figures in Rario’s leadership team are set to exit. This includes CEO Ankit Wadhwa and CTO Sunny Bhanot. The reasons behind this move are believed to be the rising influence of investors in the company, particularly the top contributor, Dream11.

The Investor’s Influence

Dream11, the primary backer of the NFT startup, has been instrumental in the company’s growth. However, their increasing control over the operation has led to the founding members’ exit. The investors’ influence is also thought to be behind the elimination of several roles at Rario.

A Stream of Changes

The departure of the Rario founders isn’t the only significant change happening at the NFT startup. In an effort to reduce costs, there are plans to renegotiate many of the licensing deals Rario had previously signed.

The Funding Round

Just a year ago, Rario had raised a whopping $120 million in funding and had an estimated worth of around $250 million. The founders also sold some of their stakes as part of this deal.

The Challenges Ahead

The NFT startup has recently seen a decrease in popularity, owing to a global downturn in the appeal of NFTs. This has resulted in a significant drop in the volume and price of their digital assets.

The Current Partnerships

Despite the changes, Rario continues to maintain several partnerships. These include associations with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Cricket Australia, IPL teams Gujarat Titan and Punjab Kings, and leagues like Abu Dhabi T10, Hero Caribbean Premier League, and the Lanka Premier League.


The departure of the Rario founders marks a significant shift in the NFT startup landscape. With major backers like Dream11 exerting greater control, the future of Rario, and potentially other startups, may look very different.


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