Cryptocurrency hedge fund and investment firm Pantera Capital led a $4.5 million investment in Sender, a crypto wallet for the NEAR Protocol ecosystem.
Crypto.com, Jump Crypto, Amber Group, WOO Network, SevenX Ventures, Smrti Labs, D1 Ventures, Puzzle Ventures, Shima Capital, Eniac Ventures, and GFS Ventures also participated in the round, which valued the wallet at $45 million, according to an announcement Monday. The investment was structured as a token sale.
The deal closed in April 2022 before much of the turbulence faced by the crypto sector in recent months began. Token prices have taken a battering this year, while in the past few months several major crypto outfits — including the Terra blockchain, the hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, and lending firm Celsius — have collapsed.
Sender is a noncustodial wallet that allows users to swap tokens instantly, stake them to potentially earn rewards, and hold NFTs. According to the announcement, Sender can also connect to hardware wallets such as Ledger and Keystone, as well as integrating crypto on-ramp services such as Moonpay, Banxa and Transak. It claims to have exceeded over half a million downloads across desktop and mobile.
“As the leading crypto wallet in the NEAR ecosystem with a complete suite of browser plugins and iOS and Android apps, Sender is seeing tremendous user growth and we are excited to help them reach the next level,” said Paul Veradittakit, general partner at Pantera Capital.
With the funding, the company plans to finance a wallet for institutional and corporate users, a transaction aggregator for NFTs, node staking, and the integration of multiple decentralized exchanges to improve the ease of swapping tokens.
"Current market dynamics have proven to be a powerful catalyst for development, and Sender has many exciting features in our pipeline, and will bring more Web2 users into the Web3 world," Sender's founder Kenny Qi said in a statement. "I expect Sender to exceed 10 million users by the time the new market hotspot arrives next year."
According to The Block Research, the total value locked (TVL) of the Near blockchain is currently just over $373 million. In May, its TVL was close to $600 million.
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