Near Protocol said Wednesday it raised $350 million in a funding round led by hedge fund Tiger Global in a bid to “accelerate the decentralization of the NEAR ecosystem.” The raise comes less than three months after Near announced a $150 million funding round.
The price of the NEAR token started inching up on the news, trading at $15.82 as of press time.
Crypto-native investors in the new round included Republic Capital, FTX Ventures, Hashed and Dragonfly Capital, among others.
New York-based Tiger Global had $86 billion in assets under management at the end of last year and has a growing footprint in crypto investments, having backed funding rounds for blockchain infrastructure platform Blockdaemon, crypto exchange FTX, payment processor Moonpay and blockchain intelligence provider TRM Labs, among others.
Since its October 2020 mainnet launch, Near has focused on creating a user-friendly platform for developers of decentralized applications (dapps). The speedy proof-of-stake blockchain is meant to serve as an alternative to Ethereum, which has scalability issues that can cause transaction fees to spike.
The increasingly cash-rich Near ecosystem has benefited projects building on the blockchain. Last October, Near’s Aurora raised $12 million to bring Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility to the network.
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