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The $350 million fundraising round for blockchain developer NEAR Protocol was led by the American investment firm Tiger Global.
Crypto-Native Investors Bet On NEAR
The $350 million funding round, which was led by Tiger Global, also raised contributions from other crypto-native investors like Republic Capital, FTX Ventures, Hashed, and Dragonfly Capital, among others. According to Team NEAR, the capital raised has been earmarked to fund the acceleration of the decentralization of the NEAR ecosystem.
Just three months ago, in January 2022, NEAR Protocol had raised another $150 million in a private token sale led by Su Zhu’s Three Arrows Capital, with participation from major crypto-focused funds including Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Jump, Alameda, Zee Prime, and Amber Group.
Both the funding rounds have pulled in crypto native investors, adding to the credibility of NEAR’s offerings. It indicates that the market is optimistic about this protocol’s ability to live up to its promise of a decentralized network. Amos Zhang, a partner at MetaWeb VC, a crypto VC fund with a focus on NEAR, has pointed out that the investment from Tiger Global indicates its faith in the protocol.
NEAR Gets Cash-Rich
October 2020, when NEAR launched its mainnet, was the start of the team refocusing its energy on creating a user-friendly platform for dApp developers. The protocol runs on a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, ensuring high transaction speeds and low costs. The team has been developing the platform to function as an alternative to Ethereum, which is plagued by scalability issues and high transaction fees. The multiple investments have created a cash-rich ecosystem for the NEAR Protocol. This, in turn, has proven to be beneficial for the projects being developed on the blockchain. For example, the Aurora bridge, launched in May 2021, successfully raised $12 million to develop EVM compatibility on the network.
NEAR’s Funding Initiative
Back in October 2021, Team NEAR announced the launch of an $800 million funding initiative to finance the growth and development of the NEAR ecosystem. A sizeable chunk of the fund was allocated to go towards the protocol’s DeFi sector, as, at that point, DeFi projects on NEAR had hit a significant milestone, with over $150 million in Total Value Locked (TVL). Therefore a solid $350 million fund was earmarked for a new DeFi development DAO. Other funds allocated include a $250 million fund for existing projects to be distributed over the next four years, $100 million for a group of 20 startups and another $100 million for the development of NEAR’s international communities.
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