Solana blockchain explorer and indexing provider SolanaFM has raised $4.5 million in a seed funding round led by Japanese financial services company SBI Group’s Digital Asset Opportunity Fund.
Other investors involved in the round include Spartan Group, Mirana Ventures, D1 Ventures and Petrock Capital, according to a press release on Friday.
The Singapore-based startup formed out of a Solana hackathon where co-founders Nicholas Chen, Bing Huang and Fathur Rahman decided to focus on infrastructure solutions for the blockchain.
This resulted in SolanaFM, which has two core tools. The first is an indexer, which enables people to gather and access Solana data at a highly efficient rate, Fathur said. The second is a blockchain explorer to view and interact with Solana data, he added.
A blockchain explorer enables individuals to query information stored on the blockchain. One of the most well-known blockchain explorers is Etherscan.
“Etherscan really did a good job in building out a very simple explorer,” Fathur said.
SolanaFM wants to elevate this experience for the Solana ecosystem, creating a more user friendly and visual experience that will help bring “normies” into the ecosystem, Fathur said.
Indexing as a service
The blockchain explorer is more of a public good, Fathur said.
“We built it solely because we felt there was an issue right there and that we need to fix it,” Fathur said. The indexer will be the predominant way the startup earns revenue through indexing as a service, Fathur added.
The funds from the new raise will be leveraged to scale SolanaFM and invest in hiring. The startup also secured an undisclosed amount in a funding round led by Etherscan and Coinhako in December.
Expanding to Aptos
Despite the naming, SolanaFM is blockchain agnostic, Fathur said. The startup is exploring launching similar tooling on the Aptos blockchain alongside existing services on Solana.
“Once you build an explorer, and people love it and we know that people love it then it sticks with them, [so] it makes sense for us to actually expand into Aptos as well,” Fathur said. “They already know how to interact with it in Solana, so when they go into Aptos, it's a similar experience.”
Aptos is a new Layer 1 blockchain that formed out of Facebook’s Diem blockchain project. It’s raised a total of $350 million in funding this year with a Series A in July and a seed round in March.
The blockchain’s most recent fundraise occurred at a challenging time in venture funding. Blockchain venture funding declined 22% from $12.5 billion in the first quarter to $9.8 billion in the second quarter of this year, according to The Block Research.
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