Near Protocol on Wednesday announced a $350 million funding round led by hedge fund Tiger Global to “accelerate the decentralization of the NEAR ecosystem.”
Near Protocol Raises $350M
New York-based venture firm Tiger Global led the investment round. Republic Capital, Hashed, FTX Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, and others are also participating in the funding round. According to a press release, the new money will help NEAR increase the number of regional hubs and expand its ecosystem significantly.
The latest round of funding comes less than three months after Near announced a $150 million funding round. The company said that additional venture investments in projects and applications based on the NEAR protocol would be announced in the coming weeks, focusing on NEAR and Aurora-based DeFi products and applications.
What is NEAR Protocol?
NEAR Protocol, an open-source platform for decentralized applications, was founded in 2018. Since the launch of Mainnet in October 2020, it has focused on developing a user-friendly environment for developers of decentralized applications. A vital feature of the blockchain is sharding technology to create scalability. Near is thus able to divide the blockchain into smaller, more manageable parts.
In April 2021, NEAR launched Rainbow Bridge to enable the transfer of ERC-20 tokens between the Ethereum and NEAR blockchains. And thanks to large amounts of funding, the Near ecosystem snowballed in the last quarter of 2021, as Aurora raised $12 million from Near in October to make the network compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine.