- NEAR Protocol has raised $350 million in a funding round led by Tiger Global.
- The announcement comes only three months after the company raised $150 million in a Three Arrows Capital-led funding.
- NEAR said it would use the money to grow the number of regional hubs in key community centers across the globe.
NEAR Protocol has raised $350 million in a new funding round led by renowned American hedge fund Tiger Global.
NEAR Protocol Closes $350M Funding Round
NEAR Protocol seems to be on a funding spree.
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The Layer 1 blockchain network announced Wednesday that it had raised $350 million in a Tiger Global-led funding round to increase “the number of regional hubs in key community centers across the globe.” Dragonfly Capital, Republic Capital, Hashed, and FTX Ventures also participated in the raise.
Tiger Global partner John Curtis said that the firm was “excited to support NEAR” as it ramped up its investments in the cryptocurrency space. He added that he thought NEAR was “poised to be a leading smart contract blockchain platform.”
NEAR is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that focuses on developer and user-friendliness. It uses complex technology known as sharding to lessen the network’s computational load by splitting it into fragments known as shards. Sharding allows the protocol to scale as the number of validator nodes in the network grows. NEAR can process around 100,000 transactions per second on its base layer (for context, Ethereum currently processes about 30). Ethereum plans to implement sharding in the future following its long-awaited “Merge” to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism.
In two short years since it launched, NEAR has become the world’s 18th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of around $11 billion. However, while it’s become one of the biggest Layer 1 blockchains and set aside $800 million in grants to boost its DeFi ecosystem, the protocol has struggled to grow its ecosystem versus other similar networks. According to data from Defi Llama, NEAR currently holds around $1.13 billion in total value locked. That’s significantly less than Ethereum’s $123 billion, Terra’s $30 billion, and Avalanche’s $10.8 billion.
That being said, NEAR’s latest $350 million raise, which is more than double the amount it received in its Three Arrows Capital-led raise in January, could help the project catch up with the rest of the ecosystem. Boris Revsin, managing director of Republic Capital, a top venture capital firm that also participated in the raise, said that he thought NEAR was “best in class” in several vital areas of development. “Republic Capital did an in-depth analysis into the NEAR ecosystem and found that the builders in the space recognize the protocol as key to their deployment roadmap,” he said.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.
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