Alpha Innovation Series: Round Labs on Cadence and Building on Flow

September 21, 2020

Anshum Bhambri, founder and CEO of Round Labs shares what brought him to blockchain, the story behind Round Labs and why he decided to build on Flow.

Introduce your team: 

Anshum Bhambri

I’m Anshum Bhambri, founder and CEO of Round Labs. We are crafting novel social interactive experiences on top of crypto networks, and are initially building a trust-minimized mobile gaming tournaments platform where users can play high-quality casual games to win cash and earn crypto. We are also introducing SocialTV, a truly innovative experience, wherein users can synchronously watch streaming videos together with their friends and family, while chatting together on an audio call. We were amongst the 25 teams out of 1000+ applicants selected for a16z's first Crypto Startup School. 

About Me:

  • Built 2 mobile games; >100k paying users
  • Math & CS at Stanford; UChicago MBA
  • Past: 6 yrs on Wall Street in derivatives trading & investment banking

Our Team @ Round Labs:

  • Kushagra Kohli is my co-founder and he is involved in operations and business development
  • Vishal Vasudeva is our technical lead. Vishal is a serial entrepreneur with 10+years experience in building and growing 3 tech startups. He is a GTM specialist with deep expertise across skill-based gaming and consumer social apps
  • Tamas Bako is our gaming lead. Tamas is a senior game developer and artist with extensive experience in building AAA console games. He has worked for Sony Interactive, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Milestone Games
  • Additionally, we have 1 front-end engineer, 1 backend engineer, and 1 blockchain engineer on our team

What lured you into the world of blockchain?

As an Indian-origin immigrant, I would send remittances to my parents who invested their money in 7-9% yielding bank deposits. The process of converting dollars to rupee-denominated deposits involved multiple intermediaries, paperwork, high fees, and took 2-3 weeks. The inefficiency baffled me since deposits by non-resident Indians was a $160 billion market. Given my experience on Wall Street trading structured products, I designed an alternative that used custodians, investor pooling, and credit-linked notes. Though my tech-enabled solution cut down the time from 2-3 weeks to 3 days, the high compliance costs made it untenable for retail investors. It was in early 2017 that I became fascinated by crypto, especially since I discovered that it elegantly solved each and every pain point in my aforementioned user journey, and realized its enormous potential for adjacent use cases. 

Why did you decide to build on Flow?

We spent considerable time and effort hacking together gasless and trustless transactions using signatures for in-game moves within state channels on POA Network, a Layer-2 scaling solution on Ethereum. Moreover, we had to build from scratch an innovative ERC-721 compression mechanism using logs and merkle trees that allowed for gas-efficient operations on multiple ERC-721 tokens as one bundle. When we first heard of Flow, we were extremely excited about how easy it was to develop on-chain currencies, collectibles, marketplaces, bundles, multi-owner resources and multi-level resources within days, and not weeks. Additionally, we found Cadence extremely developer friendly to build blockchain, gaming, and consumer products that mainstream consumers would love to use.

What should I read next?

  1. The Map of Mathematics
  2. Lessons from a NotionHQ power user
  3. Tanay Jaipuria’s book summaries and highlights to figure out what you want to read next

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