Drift Protocol Secures $23.5M to Scale Decentralized Perpetuals Trading on Solana
Drift Protocol, a decentralized exchange (DEX) that specializes in perpetual contracts trading on crypto assets, has announced that it has raised $23.5M in a Series A funding round led by Polychain Capital, one of the most prominent venture capital firms in the blockchain space.
The round also saw participation from other notable investors such as the Solana founders (Anatoly Yakovenko and Raj Gokal), Ethereal Ventures (Consensys) and Folius Ventures, bringing Drift’s total funding to date to $27.3M.
The announcement was made at Breakpoint 2023, a global conference for the Solana ecosystem, where Drift also revealed that it has become the largest perpetuals exchange on Solana, surpassing $400M in average weekly volume, $144M in total value locked (TVL) and $60M in open interest.
Drift Protocol is an open-source project that aims to create a transparent and non-custodial trading platform for perpetual contracts, which are derivatives that allow traders to speculate on the price movements of crypto assets without an expiry date. Unlike traditional DEXes, Drift Protocol leverages the speed and scalability of Solana to offer sub-second settlement, low fees and high liquidity.
According to the project’s website, Drift Protocol has already processed over 8M trades and over $6B in cumulative volume since its launch in December 2023, making it one of the fastest-growing DEXes in the market. The project also claims to offer the deepest derivatives liquidity on Solana with over $20M in orderbook depth.
Drift Protocol’s co-founder and CEO, Alex Wearn, said that the new funding will help the project expand its team, develop new features and grow its user base. He also expressed his gratitude to the investors and the community for their support.
“We are thrilled to have the backing of Polychain Capital and other leading investors who share our vision of building the future of decentralized trading. We are also grateful to our amazing community of users, developers and partners who have been instrumental in our growth and success. With this new funding, we will continue to innovate and deliver the best trading experience for our users, as well as contribute to the Solana ecosystem and the broader crypto industry,” Wearn said.
Olaf Carlson-Wee, the founder and CEO of Polychain Capital, said that he was impressed by the team and the technology behind Drift Protocol, and that he believes that the project has the potential to become a leading player in the DEX space.
“Drift Protocol is a game-changer for the DEX space, as it offers a unique combination of speed, efficiency and security that is unmatched by any other platform. We are excited to partner with the Drift team, who have demonstrated their expertise and vision in building a cutting-edge trading platform that leverages the power of Solana. We believe that Drift Protocol will play a key role in advancing the adoption and innovation of decentralized finance (DeFi),” Carlson-Wee said.
Drift Protocol is not the only DEX that is built on Solana. Other projects such as Serum, Raydium and Mango Markets have also leveraged the blockchain’s capabilities to offer fast and low-cost trading solutions. Solana itself has seen a rapid growth in its network activity and valuation, as it recently surpassed $50B in market capitalization and became the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Drift Protocol’s Series A funding round follows its previous seed round of $3.8M, which was led by Multicoin Capital and Jump Capital in October 2023. The project also received grants from the Solana Foundation and the Serum Foundation to support its development.
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