At the end of March, Amir Haleem, the CEO of Helium, Inc, announced that his corporation would be renamed Nova Labs. This news was paired with the disclosure of a Series D equity round where the company raised $200M. The Helium project has evolved over the years, and these are both significant milestones. The reasoning behind raising money might be intuitive, but outsiders may be wondering why the company changed its name.
To avoid repeating the primary announcement and the few other articles on the topic, let’s explore the practical reasons that might have led to this change. Chief among them is the overload of the word “Helium.” Once a reader knew we weren’t covering the gaseous element, there was still a fair amount of disambiguation to be performed.
Previously, “Helium” could refer to:
- The Helium cryptocurrency ($HNT)
- The Helium Network (“The People’s Network”)
- The Helium Blockchain
- Helium, Inc.
- “Helium” referring to the project’s governance or sentiment toward the project in general
Now, Helium, Inc is Nova Labs and the governing entity, previously known as the DeWi Alliance, has been rebranded as the Helium Foundation. The distinction between “the network” and “the company,” which some will have read dozens of times on articles on websites just like this one, is no longer needed. In the blog post, this was cited as the primary reason. Additionally, the rename helps to set the commercial interest (Nova Labs) and the Helium Foundation on their own paths which likely will fork more sharply at some point in the future.
It can also be speculated that Nova Labs is preparing for a future in which the team increases in size and prepares to innovate in areas adjacent to decentralized wireless technology. The latin root of “nova” which is “novus” means new. “Labs,” perhaps tracing its origin back to Bell Labs Innovations (the 1996 iteration), is also synonymous with invention and harnessing concentrated human brilliance. With this project being a veritable success, there are likely even more investors lining up ready to support the founding team.
Is Anything Important Changing?
As with any announcement that generates independent news coverage, there were many questions being asked as to the immediate effect on the project. All sources point to no changes, even for hotspot hosts and those trading the Helium token. There are no changes to the network and no updates in how the Helium blockchain works or is named.
It has yet to be seen as to what the future holds for Nova Labs or the Helium Foundation, but $200,000,000 sure is a lot of money. Beyond efforts to aggressively onboard more employees, it seems likely that the most exciting phases of this project are yet to come. The project is now closing in on the milestone of 1,000,000 hotspots!