NEAR Raises $350 Million in Funding
Major NEAR funding round led by Tiger Global, FTX Ventures, and more
NEAR Protocol has successfully raised $350 million in its latest funding round, accelerating its mission to help billions of people learn and use blockchain and decentralized technologies.
Led by hedge fund Tiger Global, with participation from Republic Capital, FTX Ventures, Hashed, Dragonfly Capital, ParaFi Capital, Blockchange Ventures, and MetaWeb Ventures, this fundraise includes crypto-native funds as well as a notable move into crypto and the NEAR ecosystem from more traditional firms.
This investment round will accelerate the decentralization of the NEAR ecosystem by supporting growth across industry verticals via ecosystem funds and increasing the number of regional hubs in key community centers across the globe. NEAR Protocol previously raised a $150 million investment round led by Three Arrows Capital, Alameda, and Jump in January 2022.
Late 2021 and early 2022 have seen a wave of venture capital investment in projects building on NEAR, with several more to be announced in the coming weeks — particularly in NEAR- and Aurora-based DeFi projects and applications.
Since launching MainNet in October of 2020, the NEAR network has processed more than 110 million transactions and has over 5 million accounts. More than 450 apps are running or building on NEAR, which has the sixth-largest developer community in the blockchain ecosystem and more than 200,000 community members worldwide. The world’s first truly sharded blockchain, with four shards live today and a full roadmap rolling out during 2022, NEAR is designed to scale to a billion mainstream users.
From the investors:
John Curtius, Partner at Tiger Global, said: “NEAR is poised to be a leading smart contract blockchain platform, combining first-rate technology with a fast-growing developer ecosystem. We’re excited to support NEAR as we ramp up our investments in the digital asset space.”
“We believe that the NEAR ecosystem has fostered a strong developer community by leveraging the powerful combination of a new programming model alongside the battle-tested EVM. We are excited to support NEAR in its next phase of growth,” said Brian Lee, Partner at FTX Ventures.
“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,” said Boris Revsin, Managing Director of Republic Capital. “Community, tooling, documentation and support are critical to successful applications, and we believe NEAR is best in class in these important areas.”
“We’re excited to continue our support for NEAR in this next growth phase. The tech has always been strong and now the devs and builders are catching on,” said Haseeb Qureshi, Managing Partner at Dragonfly Capital. Dragonfly has previously invested in NEAR and runs a validator on the network.
“I’m thrilled to see such an amazing list of backers supporting NEAR’s mission to empower the world with accessible blockchain technology,” said Amos Zhang, MetaWeb.vc founder and partner. “Starting with DeFi and Web3 applications, the NEAR ecosystem is about to take off.”
Ken Seiff, GP at Blockchange Ventures, said of their investment: “We are excited to double down on our prior investment in NEAR. We believe that NEAR has very quickly established itself as a leading general purpose smart contract blockchain and has generated a meaningful following in the DeFi community and amongst developers building high quality apps.”
“We have been closely following the NEAR ecosystem. Their successful implementation of Rainbow Bridge, Aurora, and Simple Nightshade gave us the conviction that the developer community within NEAR Protocol will continue to grow exponentially. UNOPND, a crypto-native startup studio powered by Hashed, will closely collaborate with the NEAR team to build the metaverse into the ecosystem,” said Baek Kim, Partner at Hashed.
“As the multi-chain landscape evolves, we believe NEAR has positioned itself as one of the most compelling Layer 1 ecosystems. Leveraging Nightshade, Rainbow Bridge, and EVM compatibility, NEAR has built a high-throughput, developer-friendly environment,” said Anjan Vinod, Vice President of ParaFi Capital. “We are seeing dozens of compelling teams across the DeFi and NFT verticals deploy natively on the NEAR blockchain. As DeFi power users and investors, we are thrilled to support the world-class team at NEAR.”
NEAR is a high-performance blockchain that is designed to be super-fast, incredibly secure, and infinitely scalable. NEAR’s vision is to create a network that enables people to reimagine finance, creativity, and community in new and inclusive ways.
NEAR is built by an award-winning team of engineers and entrepreneurs to be simple to use, inclusive and good for the environment. NEAR is backed by top VCs such as A16Z, Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain.com, and Baidu Ventures.