Parallel Finance Doubles Valuation in $5M Funding Round

The Polkadot-based lending platform is planning to raise up to another $60M this quarter.

AccessTimeIconApr 5, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 12, 2022 at 6:24 p.m. UTC

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

Parallel Finance, a lending and staking platform based on the Polkadot blockchain, raised $5 million at a $500 million valuation, twice the valuation of its token round last November.

Investors in the strategic funding round included crypto exchange Coinbase Ventures, blockchain technology company StarkWare and Section 32, a venture capital firm founded by Bill Maris, a former head of Google Ventures.

Parallel Finance plans to raise a Series B round during the second quarter in two tranches of $20 million to $30 million each at an undetermined valuation, CEO Yubo Ruan told CoinDesk in an interview.

Funding plans

Earlier this month, Parallel Finance released a “super app” bundle of six products in a bid to become a one-stop shop for decentralized finance (DeFi) systems. The initial launch included products related to crypto wallets, staking, crowdloans, cross-chain bridges, automated market making and yield farming.

The new funding will help Parallel Finance expand its super app on the Polkadot network and beyond by enabling Parallel to spend more on research and development and product expansion. It will also help the project gain new users and increase the total value locked (TVL) on the platform.

“We currently have around $700 million to $800 million TVL,” Ruan said. “We plan to increase that to $2 billion to $3 billion in the coming quarter.”

Road map

Parallel Finance is interested in working with strategic investor Coinbase Ventures on its ecosystem expansion and software plans, Ruan said. The protocol also plans to build on StarkWare’s StarkNet, a layer 2 "scaling" product that addresses Ethereum’s issues of slow speed and high transaction fees. Section 32, the venture capital firm, may help bring potential partners to the table as Parallel Finance moves to invest more in Web 3 projects.

Parallel Finance has plans to expand its app beyond the Polkadot ecosystem, initially with Ethereum. and wants to expand into the non-fungible token (NFT) business by supporting NFTs as collateral.

“The NFT holder can get access to a credit line or get access to capital they can borrow without having to sell to get liquidity,” Ruan said.

Valuation growth

Asked about the growth in valuation, Ruan noted that Parallel Finance has grown to 70 employees from about 10 to 20 employees since last August and has launched seven products since the platform was founded less than a year ago.

“I think growth and traction have helped us increase the valuation,” Ruan explained. “It’s also about our long-term plans about how to bring DeFi to mass adoption.”

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Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Brandy covers crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.