- The company has gained about 40,000 users since its beta launch in April 2021 and secured $500,000 in grants from Serum and Solana during that three-month time period, which will be used towards hiring and product development
- The company only supports Solana blockchain right now, but will expand to the Ethereum wallet by fall of this year and later on will expand to Ethereum Layer 2 platforms
Venture Capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, led a $9 million Series A funding round for Phantom, a multi-chain crypto wallet and browser extension for managing digital assets and accessing decentralized apps.
The round included funding from Variant Fund, Jump Capital, DeFi Alliance, and Solana Foundation, Phantom announced in a statement on Wednesday. It also included participation from Garry Tan, an early Coinbase investor, among other angel investors from Compound, dYdX, Audius, Lolli, and Ethereum Foundation.
This announcement is the latest investment led by Andreessen Horowitz, after the firm launched a $2.2 billion crypto fund in late June and said the money would be invested in crypto networks and the founders and teams currently being built within the digital assets space, Blockworks previously reported.
With the new funds, Phantom will continue to build its team, develop new platform features, and expand to other blockchains, it said.
Phantom’s goal is to provide a multi-chain crypto wallet for decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), that’s accessible and easy to use for both crypto beginners and seasoned enthusiasts, it said.
The company has gained about 40,000 users since its beta launch in April 2021 and secured $500,000 in grants from Serum and Solana during that three-month time period, which will be used towards hiring and product development, said CEO Brandon Millman in an interview with Blockworks.
The round closed at the end of May but was not publicly announced until today. Additionally, there were no other fundraising rounds prior to this one and no valuation is currently available, Millman said.
“Once we start expanding to other networks, users will be able to use one wallet to interact with decentralized applications across all supported networks,” so users won’t have to install and set up a new wallet for every chain, Millman said.
The company only supports Solana blockchain right now, but will expand to the Ethereum wallet by fall of this year and later on will expand to Ethereum Layer 2 such as Polygon and Optimism, Millman said.
“The wallets and bridges currently available are preventing users from moving digital assets from one blockchain to another without third-party assistance, resulting in decreased usage and fragmented participation across the DeFi ecosystem,” Millman said.
While the DeFi industry is complex, Phantom hopes to lower the barrier to entry by providing users an easy-to-use interface and helping guide new users through the onboarding process.
“We are moving to more and more of a multi-chain world. As demand for blockspace increases, more supply is needed to satisfy it,” Millman said.
With that said, the global hardware wallet market is growing. The market was valued at $202.4 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $795.32 valuation by 2026, according to a report titled “Global Hardware Wallet Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026).” Companies producing these wallets are experiencing an exponential increase in demand as the number of people owning multiple cryptocurrencies also has increased, the report said.
“We’re entering the next phase of decentralized computing, and Phantom is an important part of that story,” said Garry Tan, an early investor in Coinbase. “Great user experience for interfacing with digital assets and decentralized applications is the missing link.”