NEAR Protocol has successfully raised $150 million in its latest funding round, accelerating its mission to help billions of people learn and use blockchain and decentralized technologies.
The round was led by Three-Arrows Capital with participation from several crypto-native funds including Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital, a16z, Jump, Alameda, Zee Prime, Folius, Amber Group, 6th Man Ventures, Circle Ventures, and MetaWeb.vc — the NEAR ecosystem fund. The round also included several top angels including Alan Howard, Santiago Santos and Aave Founder Stani Kulechov cementing NEAR’s reputation among industry leaders as a fast-growing blockchain that combines simplicity, scalability and security.
“We are excited to support the NEAR team and ecosystem as they scale blockchain applications,” says Kyle from Three-Arrows Capital.
“With multichain interoperability of Rainbow Bridge, Aurora (EVM), Octopus (Substrate), and NEAR native’s Nightshade sharding technology, NEAR is best suited for empowering blockchain applications for mainstream adoption,” says Amos Zhang, founder of MetaWeb.vc.
“We’re delighted to be backed by such a fantastic group of investors. It provides proof of what’s been built, and what’s to come,” says Illia Polosukin, co-founder of NEAR Protocol.
The funding builds on the $65.9 million raised by the project so far, from backers across the globe including DCG, Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain.com, and Baidu Ventures.
The funding will be used to accelerate adoption of Web3 technologies through ecosystem funding, developing NEAR’s regional hubs and raising awareness for the brand, the projects building on NEAR and its global community to new audiences.
NEAR has already established communities in Asia, Africa and Europe, and is looking to help support emerging communities in Latin America, Turkey and India.
“We are delighted to have such a fantastic list of backers supporting NEAR’s mission,” says Marieke Flament, NEAR Foundation’s CEO. “We are looking forward to leveraging the funding to improve access to blockchain technology in an ever growing list of countries across the world.”
NEAR Protocol has a proven track record of supporting its fast-growing ecosystem. In 2021, it allocated $800 million (now valued at $1.8 billion) — the largest of any layer 1 blockchain — to help fuel its mission to decentralize the community and help users reimagine finance, creativity, and identity in new and inclusive ways.
As part of that allocation, Proximity Labs, a research and development firm targeting the NEAR ecosystem, created a $350 million grants DAO (now valued at $800 million) aimed at projects, organizations, and individuals building decentralized finance (DeFi) applications on the NEAR blockchain.
Since mainnet launch in Q4 2020, the NEAR network has processed more than 70 million transactions, and supports over 2.3 million accounts. It has 200,000 community members, 1,700 actively monthly builders and more than 100 guilds. It also became the first truly sharded blockchain, in Q4 2021, running with four shards on mainnet, with further upgrades scheduled for 2022.