Orca, a Solana-based decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round.
Three Arrows Capital, Polychain Capital, Placeholder VC co-led the round, with Coinbase Ventures, Jump Capital, Sino Global Capital, Collab+Currency, DeFiance Capital, Zee Prime Capital, and Solana Capital also participating, among others.
This was a token funding round, meaning Orca sold its native ORCA tokens to investors from its treasury, co-founder Grace "Ori" Kwan told The Block. The raised capital will help Orca expand its team and platform, said Kwan.
There are currently eight people working for Orca, and the project is looking to hire more people across engineering and marketing functions, said Kwan.
Orca was launched in February of this year and claims to have the "simplest" user experience. Kwan said, "our swap experience improves meaningfully on what already exists in DeFi through our Fair Price Indicator, Magic Bar, built-in token balances, and more."
Orca is currently the eighth-ranked project in the Solana ecosystem by total value locked (TVL), according to tracker DefiLlama. Orca's TVL at the time of writing is around $225 million.
Orca is a "critical addition" to the Solana ecosystem, according to Three Arrows Capital co-founder Kyle Davies. "We are excited by the strength of the team, performance, and their community-focused mission," said Davies. As for the Orca team's background, Kwan has previously worked for IDEO and Coursera. The project's other co-founder Yutaro Mori has previously worked on Ethereum 2.0 and Universal Market Access (UMA) projects.
The Series A round is Orca's first external funding round. The project previously received a grant from the Solana Foundation, said Kwan.
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