Near’s largest decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, Bastion near has received a $9 million Series A round of funding. This is a sign that there is growing interest in venture capital.
Three Arrows Capital, a crypto-trading and venture firm, led the round. Jane Street, Jump Crypto, and FTX Ventures also participated. Crypto.com Capital, Spartan Group, CMS and Hypersphere. Bastion declined to disclose the round’s valuation.
Bastion is an Ethereum-compatible layer on the Near blockchain that allows for lending, borrowing, and exchange.
The funding round announcement comes on the heels of Bastion’s impending token launch.
On Wednesday evening, Bastion announced it would be launching its BSTN governance token, with trading set to begin on Near’s decentralized exchange Trisolaris on 23:59 UTC Thursday. The protocol’s token launch will bring it to $180 million.
Near DeFi ‘Legos’ click into place
Bastion claims that it has $620 million of total value (TVL), though public data sources place it lower. It is the largest DeFi protocol in Near. The project first launched on March 7 as a fork of Ethereum’s popular lending and borrowing DeFi protocol Compound.
Compound, which was founded in 2017 and launched its COMP token in 2020, currently sits at nearly $9.7 billion in TVL, according to data from CoinGecko.
“We have isolated markets,” said Bastion’s pseudonymous founder N^2 (“Near Squared”), who described Bastion as distinct from Compound due to the “separate” lending protocols operating underneath Bastion.
“Compound is restricted in the number of assets it can offer,” N^2 told CoinDesk. “If one asset gets hacked, it can drain the entire pool. Meanwhile, we can compartmentalize.”
N^2 also told CoinDesk that he is doxxed to Bastion investors but he prefers staying pseudonymous to the public in order to “focus on building the product with fewer distractions.”
Near ecosystem hype
The project stated that it will use the new funds to hire, market, develop and partner with businesses.
Bastion, which closed its $2 million seed round last month at an undisclosed valuation, also closed the round.
Near has attracted a wave of DeFi and investment activity of late, with Tiger Global leading a $350 million raise for the layer 1 blockchain earlier this month.
Near’s NEAR token is up 48% over the past 30 days, compared to paltry 6% and 0% gains for ether (ETH) and bitcoin (BTC), respectively.