1inch Network raises $175 million in a series B funding round from institutional investors, led by Amber Group.
Founded by Sergej Kunz and Anton Bukov, 1inch is a DEX aggregator that works out the best crypto prices across decentralized exchanges, and reroutes trades between them.
Among about 50 investors that participated in the funding event are Jane Street, VanEck, Fenbushi Capital, Alameda Research, Celsius, Nexo, Tribe Capital and Gemini Frontier Fund.
The latest funding round puts 1inch Network at $2.25 billion valuation as the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform gears up for the launch of a new set of institutional products.
The Series B raise was conducted via a token sale from the project’s “ecosystem development fund.”
The addition of several dozen new participants to the 1inch Network is set to lead to further decentralization of the 1inch DAO, making it more democratic by allowing everyone’s votes to matter.
Sergej Kunz, 1inch Network co-founder, said:
“While continuing to keep the existing DeFi audience happy by delivering state-of-the-art products, 1inch also aims to become a gateway for institutions that want to be part of the DeFi space,” .
“The next $1 trln of assets entering DeFi will come from institutions rather than retail users, and 1inch would like to facilitate entry for them. We have already started work in that direction by attracting some key players from the traditional finance markets, and this collaboration will only accelerate over the next few years.”
Initially, 1inch set an investment target of $70 million, but, following several developments in the space and a huge demand from valuable backers, a decision was made to increase it to $175 million.
Tiantian Kullander, co-founder and managing partner of Amber Group, said:
“A key part of the next phase of DeFi will be providing investors with seamless access to liquidity across different protocols and chains. 1inch has one of the best teams at the forefront of building bridges between fragmented liquidity pools, providing cost-savings and optimizing price discovery for all participants.”
“We have been truly impressed by the 1inch team’s pace of product innovation and are extremely excited to partner with them as they continue to build the go-to hub for the DeFi ecosystem.”
The DeFi startup will use the latest funding to navigate the regulatory space for DeFi in Europe and the US in a bid to onboard institutions into 1inch Pro, a compliant product for institutional customers.
The company will also use the fund to build new 1inch protocols, expanding the utility of the 1INCH token and scaling up the contributor team. Over the next few years, the team is expected to more than double in size.
In December 2020, the 1inch Network attracted $12 million from several major investors, including Pantera Capital, ParaFi Capital and Nima Capital. In August 2020, $2.8 million was raised from a group of institutional investors led by Binance Labs. According to AlexaBlockchain Database, 1inch has raised a total of $194.6 million in funding so far.