NEAR raises $150 million as it looks to become a hub of web3 development

The NEAR Foundation has closed a $150 million funding round less as it looks to become the hub of an open web3.

Three-Arrows Capital led the token sale with participation from Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital, a16z, Jump, Alameda and Circle Ventures, among others. 

The NEAR Foundation launched in 2020 after a $21 million token sale and help from backers including a16z and Pantera Capital. The non-profit platform oversees the development and governance of the proof-of-stake NEAR blockchain. 

On Jan. 1 of this year, the platform installed Marieke Flament, who was previously leading a fintech bank in London, as its new CEO. In a recent interview with The Block, Flament said NEAR wants to create a world where it's automatically associated with web3. 

To that end, it's already created an $800 million grant fund for projects, with $450 million apportioned to ecosystem grants and startups and $350 million allocated to decentralized finance (DeFi) through its DeFi DAO, which executes spending for protocols applying for liquidity mining programs. 

Flament told The Block at the time of her installation that her hope is to decentralize the platform to a point where her job is no longer necessary. In the meantime, she's hoping to create more accessibility to web3. The underlying principle of NEAR is to be a hub of development and an easy-to-use platform for developers, according to Flament.