The decentralized NEAR protocol is in full development. Founded in 2018 as an open-source platform for decentralized applications, an initial fundraising round valued at $150 million was completed during January (2022). Yesterday, a second round of funding was unveiled by the NEAR Foundation, the organization that governs the development of the protocol.
This new round is estimated at $350 million, more than double the previous one. It was led by Tiger Global, with participation from Republic Capital, Hashed, FTX Ventures (Sam Bankman-Fried), Dragonfly Capital and others.
Two recent financings that testify to the interest of venture capitalists for the decentralized protocol that aims to democratize access to decentralized services.
The NEAR protocol in full development
Thought up by Illia Polosukhin and Alexander Skidanov, the NEAR Protocol blockchain project began in August 2018. It is only two years later, in 2020 that the mainnet of the protocol sees the light of day. Overall, the goal of the protocol is to provide an easier way to create decentralized applications.
In addition to this important funding, Rainbow Bridge was launched in April 2021. A bridge that allows ERC-20 crypto transfers between the Ethereum and NEAN blockchains. In June 2021, NEAR joined the ICON protocol allowing data to be sent to partners such as Polkadot and Harmony. In November, Ardana announced that it had also partnered with the protocol to enable token flow between the Cardano and NEAR blockchains.
According to the NEAR Foundation, more partnerships and investments are coming in 2022. Currently, 300 applications are actively running on the platform with an estimated 200,000 users worldwide.
Boris Revsin, managing director of Republic Capital, is particularly optimistic about the development of NEAR:
After stating in a release:
“Republic Capital has conducted an in-depth analysis of the NEAR ecosystem and found that developers occupy a special place in the roadmap of the protocol (…). Community, tools, documentation and support are critical to application success, and we believe NEAR is best-in-class in these important areas.