Connext, an Ethereum-based interoperability network that helps swap tokens between Ethereum-compatible blockchains and Layer-2 solutions, has raised $12 million in a new funding round.
The round saw participation from a record 82 investors. ConsenSys Mesh and 1kx co-led the round, with Coinbase Ventures, OkEx Ventures, eGirl Capital, and Hashed also participating. Angel investors including The Block's Larry Cermak, Polygon's Sandeep Nailwal, Optimism's Jinglan Wan, Yearn's Andre Cronje, and many others also backed the round.
This was an equity round, Connext co-founder Arjun Bhuptani told The Block, adding that it will help grow the team, build Connext's ecosystem, and scale the network.
"We'll be working on integrations with all of the Layer-2 systems as well as other Ethereum-compatible chains," said Bhuptani.
There are currently eight people working for Connext, and the project is looking to expand its headcount to around 20 within the next 6-12 months, said Bhuptani. As for developing its ecosystem, Connext is setting up a grants program, he said.
And for scaling the network, Connext will increase the number of "routers," or liquidity providers. "We're onboarding 10 of the best staking service providers in the space," Bhuptani told The Block. "We're also bringing on a bunch of investors who are technical and want to run routers. Besides this, we have a Google form that has over 200 signups from technical folk who want to run routers and provide liquidity."
Connext went live in January of this year and since then claims to have grown at over 50% week-over-week to hit $40 million in weekly network volume and over 40,000 unique users recently.
"Now that we've proven out the use case and shown that we can bootstrap the demand side of the network, our focus is on the supply side," said Bhuptani. "This means our development plans are all based around making sure that there is a lot more liquidity and that liquidity is well balanced."
The round brings Connext's total funding to date to $15.7 million. The project has previously raised $3.7 million in several rounds.
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