- Previous backers Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm, SV Angel, and Variant participated in the round.
- Uniswap founder Hayden Adams said he built the Uniswap Protocol in 2018 as an experiment.
- Uniswap plans to build an NFT aggregator.
Uniswap Labs today announced that it has raised $165 million in a Series B round led by Polychain Capital, with participation from previous backers such as Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm, SV Angel, and Variant.
This news comes shortly after Uniswap was rumoured to seek up to $200 million in new capital. Following the latest fundraise, the company is now valued at $1.66 billion, reaching unicorn status.
Uniswap founder Hayden Adams, a self-taught coder, said in a blog post that he built the Uniswap Protocol in 2018 as an experiment. Uniswap now hosts the world’s largest decentralised exchange with between 3 to 4 million users at its peak and has supported $1.2 trillion in trading volume to date. The DEX uses smart contracts to support automated transactions between crypto tokens on the Ethereum network.
Adams told Fortune that the new funding and Uniswap’s popularity are validation for DeFi projects, some of which almost entirely run on autonomous code. The funds also come at a time when centralised lending platforms like Celcius and Voyager have filed for bankruptcy while Uniswap is still surviving the crypto winter.
“For us, the industry has started to prove itself and we’re seeing the value of it, especially in this bear market when a lot of centralized infrastructure failed, and a lot of decentralized entities prevailed,” Adams told Fortune.
Adams revealed that Uniswap Labs is currently not profitable but the company will use the funds to invest in its web app and developer tools, launching NFTs, moving into mobile, and expand its product offerings which will include an NFT aggregator that will “unlock new interactions between tokens and NFTs.”
Additionally, Uniswap’s governance community recently voted to create the Uniswap Foundation, which will contribute to the Protocol’s decentralized development and give at least $60 million in grants to community projects over the next few years.
Speaking to Fortune, Adams mentioned Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin as an example he tried to emulate, saying that while Buterin invented Ethereum, he has stepped back to allow others to lead the development of the blockchain. Adams said that his role in Uniswap is “less than it’s ever been” and that the company would keep going if he were to step down.
Uniswap is currently under an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission investigation as the United States tries to establish a regulatory framework for the crypto and NFT markets. On Tuesday, news broke that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into Yuga Labs to assess whether some NFTs should fall under the same regulations as stocks.
A Uniswap spokesperson told Fortune that “the company is committed to complying with the law and regulations governing our industry.”
Stay up to date: