Near Protocol Raises $350m in Funding Led by Tiger Global

For the second time this year, Near protocol, a layer-1 blockchain network, has pulled massive funds from investors cutting across the traditional finance and crypto industries.


According to Bloomberg, the platform pulled in $350 million, which is more than double what it raised ( $150 million) back in January.

“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.”

This latest funding round was led by Tiger Global, an investment firm that caters to more traditional tech and innovation startups. Other investors who participated in the round include Republic Capital, FTX Ventures, Hashed, and Dragonfly Capital. The massive capital injection Near protocol received has outlined how deep-rooted the platform’s solutions are projected to be integrated into the growing decentralized ecosystem.

Unlike this current funding round, the previous rounds were funded mostly by crypto native investors like Three Arrows Capital, Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital, a16z, Jump, Alameda, Zee Prime, Folius, and Amber Group amongst others. Despite the diversity in its backers who may have different motives for investing in the protocol, Near has also been quite assertive about its goals, one of which is to fuel the decentralization of its growing ecosystem.

NEAR Protocol is a layer-one blockchain that was designed as a community-run cloud computing platform. That eliminates some of the limitations that have been bogging competing blockchains, such as low transaction speeds, low throughput, and poor interoperability. The protocol was designed to serve as one of the solutions to Ethereum and its congestion woes.

While the protocol has active communities in Europe, Africa, and Asia, it plans to extend into Latin America, Turkey, and India. Its goals are in tandem with other growing blockchain protocols like Avalanche and Binance Smart Chain (BSC), both of which have also launched dedicated funds to grow their ecosystem.

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Revolut Lands $33BN Valuation After SoftBank Raise

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Revolut is now the U.K.’s most valuable fintech firm. 

Revolut Announces Mega-Raise 

Revolut, a fintech app offering savings, insurance, investing, and crypto trading services, has become the U.K.’s biggest fintech company. 

The firm recently raised $800 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Tiger Global Management. The investment puts the company’s valuation at $33 billion. Revolut raised $500 million at a valuation of $5.5 billion in Feb. 2020, meaning the startup’s valuation has jumped six times higher less than 18 months later. 

Revolut is primarily known for its savings account services, though the company has taken steps to embrace crypto in recent months. In May, it announced it would let customers withdraw crypto into their personal wallets and has expanded its range of supported tokens (among those offered are Layer 1 tokens like BTC, ETH, DOGE, DOT, and SOL, plus DeFi staples like SNX, UNI, AAVE, and YFI). 

Revolut has roughly 15 million personal customers and 500,000 business customers. Nonetheless, it recorded losses of around $278 million in 2020 owing to rising staff costs from rapid growth. The app is available in the U.K. and 34 other countries. Revolut holds an EU banking license, but it’s yet to receive the same approval in the U.K. 

The funding round comes amid a flurry of mega-raises in the fintech and crypto spaces. The Brazilian crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin recently hit a valuation of $2.1 billion after landing a $200 million investment from SoftBank. Meanwhile, the hardware wallet app Ledger has been valued at $1.5 billion after raising $380 million. Solana Labs, the team behind the fast-growing Solana blockchain, recently completed a $314 million token sale. Leading crypto investors Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital led the raise. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH, ETH2X-FLI, SNX, and AAVE. They also had exposure to UNI and YFI in a cryptocurrency index. 

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