Launched by software engineers from Porsche and NEAR Protocol, 1inch has raised $2.8 million in a funding round led by Binance Labs.
The platform was launched at the ETHGlobal hackathon last year as a liquidity aggregator connecting multiple decentralized exchanges (DEXs). This summer, it reported passing $1 billion threshold in the total volume of tokens going through its smart contracts.
Investors in its funding round, announced Tuesday, also included Galaxy Digital, Greenfield One, Libertus Capital, Dragonfly Capital, FTX, IOSG, LAUNCHub Ventures and Divergence Ventures. Loi Luu, founder of Kyber Network, and Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of NEAR Protocol, also participated.
The startup was founded by its CEO, Sergej Kuntz, a software engineer at German luxury car maker Porsche (and about to leave to go full time for his crypto projects), and CTO Anton Bukov, a former smart-contract developer at NEAR blockchain protocol.
1inch provides swaps between ERC-20 tokens (an Ethereum standard), pulling liquidity from exchanges including Uniswap, Kyber, Bancor, Mooniswap (also founded by Kuntz and Bukov) and others.
"When we thought of making an aggregator, there were about five big DEXs on the market, with significant price differences," Bukov told CoinDesk. "First, we created a website showing the best prices, but then figured out we need to split orders between different DEXs to get better prices than each one of those DEXs offered."
According to market data provider CoinGecko, 1inch is currently facilitating over $20 million in trades daily. And the firm doesn't plan to stop there. There are currently about 17,700 wallets registered on 1inch, according to the startup. The newly announced investment will fuel 1inch's team expansion (it now counts 16 people), new products development and marketing.
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The project aims to ride the wave of the decentralized finance (or DeFi) "gold rush" and perhaps even become the first DeFi unicorn out there, Kuntz said. In the coming months, 1inch is planning to release its own token and provide liquidity mining, or yield farming, on Mooniswap.
“DEX aggregation is a critical building block that co-enabled the most recent DeFi boom. It allows executing large order sizes at low slippage rates. 1inch has become the de facto interface for trade execution in DeFi, with aggregate volumes surpassing $1 billion,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said in a statement for 1inch press release.
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