• NEAR protocol announced its second fundraise since January
  • The capital will be used to expand regional hubs around the world, the protocol said

Blockchain project NEAR Protocol has announced the close of another funding round.

Just three months after its $150 million raise, NEAR announced an additional $350 million capital raise Wednesday, bringing its market cap to more than $10 billion as of Wednesday.

The funding round, led by Tiger Global, will be put toward growing regional hubs in key community centers across the globe, according to a statement.

“NEAR is poised to be a leading smart contract blockchain platform, combining first-rate technology with a fast-growing developer ecosystem,” partner at Tiger Global John Curtius said in a statement.

The protocol has established communities in Asia, Africa and Europe, and it aims to expand support in emerging communities in Latin America, Turkey and India, the company said.

Since its mainnet launch in late 2020, the NEAR network has processed over 70 million transactions and supported over 2.3 million accounts. Its Ethereum-compatible Aurora scaling solution is responsible for $800 million of Near’s $1.1 billion in total value locked (TVL), according to DefiLlama.

After its January raise, the protocol’s native token, NEAR, jumped nearly 10% to trade just under $20 before falling to around $15 in recent weeks. It was trading down about 3% Wednesday afternoon.

NEAR, which seeks to rival layer-1 protocols including Solana and Ethereum and claims to be the first truly sharded network in the world, also recently announced a series of decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) partnerships, including being selected by Orange DAO as its preferred layer-1 blockchain for Web3.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by some of the brightest minds in the world as the preferred layer-1 chain on which Orange DAO members will want to build,” Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, said in a statement. “We know that community-driven innovation benefits everyone, and this partnership is simply another example of our mission in practice.”

Illia Polosukhin, NEAR’s Ukrainian co-founder, is also a key player in the cryptocurrency community working to help efforts in Ukraine. He has helped evacuate at least 50 people out of Ukraine and raised more than $3 million, according to a Bloomberg report.

Other investors in the latest round include FTX Ventures, Dragonfly Capital and Blockchain Ventures.

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  • Blockworks
    Senior Reporter
    Casey Wagner is a New York-based business journalist covering regulation, legislation, digital asset investment firms, market structure, central banks and governments, and CBDCs. Prior to joining Blockworks, she reported on markets at Bloomberg News. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Media Studies. Contact Casey via email at [email protected]