1inch Network has raised $175 million as the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform gears up for the launch of a new set of institutional products.
The decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator and liquidity protocol announced the funding on Wednesday, saying that investors valued the project at $2.25 billion. The Series B round was led by Amber Group, with over 50 additional investors participating, including Jane Street, VanEck, Fenbushi Capital, Alameda Research, Celsius, Nexo, Tribe Capital and Gemini Frontier Fund, according to a press release.
In an interview with CoinDesk, 1inch co-founder Sergej Kunz said that the fundraising was conducted via a token sale from the project’s ecosystem development fund, and that the tokens were sold at a flat rate calculated with a multi-month, time-weighted average price.
“This raise was not about the money,” said Kunz. “We were looking for people and VCs who can help us build a new product and push the whole network forward. In terms of the 1inch DAO, it also makes sense to have experienced people in several fields – engineering, business relations and financial institutions.”
The DeFi platform is planning to release a protocol insurance product next year, as well as begin a series of trials offering DeFi services to mainstream financial institutions.
“Next year we’re working for a lot of layers, a lot of companies around the world to find solutions to offer compliant DeFi for institutions – this will be called 1inch Pro,” Kunz said. “This will be based on 1inch Network’s open source technology, with a compliance protocol as well.”
Kunz said that “banks, hedge funds and brokers” are all highly interested, but as yet have been stymied by know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) requirements. The protocol is working to obtain German financial licensing.
“Institutions are ready to jump into DeFi, but they need a regulation framework for that, which we will work on in coming years in some pilot projects,” he added.
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