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Decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch Network has concluded a sizable Series B investment round, raising $175 million as part of a broader effort to expand protocol utility and increase access to liquidity within the decentralized finance, or DeFi, market.
The investment round vastly exceeded the initial target of $70 million amid active participation from leading venture funds, 1inch Network disclosed Wednesday. Crypto-finance unicorn Amber Group led the funding round, which comprised roughly 50 investors. VanEck, Jane Street, Fenbushi Capital, Alameda Research, Celsius, Nexo, Tribe Capital and Gemini Frontier Fund were among the investors.
1inch Network will use the funds to increase its capacity for addressing the ongoing regulatory changes impacting the DeFi market. The funding will also be used to onboard institutional clients, build new protocols and expand the utility of the 1INCH token, which has a total market capitalization of roughly $650 million at the time of writing.
Related: 6 Questions for Anton Bukov of 1inch Network
As Cointelegraph recently reported, 1inch Network surpassed $85 billion in cumulative trade volume in November roughly two years after launching. Protocol co-founder Anton Bukov said DeFi is going to witness exponential growth over the next three to five years, with decentralized exchanges accounting for a larger share of the market.
DeFi aggregators such as 1inch and Matcha have seen volumes soar in 2021 as users seek the best rates for token swaps. https://t.co/priosQxhcB
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) February 18, 2021
1inch Network's nonprofit arm has also targeted developers to champion future protocol upgrades. In July, 1inch Foundation launched a $3 million grants program to incentivize developers to contribute to the protocol.
DeFi, which has already seen exponential growth since mid-2020, is compromised of a wide array of companies and protocols seeking to disintermediate the financial system. More than $273 billion worth of value has been locked into this diverse ecosystem — a figure that’s expected to grow as the crypto bull market continues into 2021.