Ethereum Data Firm Dune Analytics Raises $8M From Union Square, Others

Aug 12, 2021 | Decrypt News | 0 comments


Ethereum data firm Dune Analytics has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Tech-centric venture capital firm Union Square Ventures led the round, with additional funding from Redpoint Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, and Multicoin Capital.

Founded in August 2018 by Fredrik Haga and Mats Julian Olsen, Dune allows users to analyze movements on the Ethereum blockchain, turning real-time, on-chain data into shiny big-picture charts.

Dune is one of many firms and platforms that make crypto more transparent and turn dense data into analytical insights. Others include Glassnode, Skew, CoinMetrics, Chainalysis, Messari, Nansen, and Arcane Research.

And there’s certainly much appetite among investors in their offerings. Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis raised $100 million in a Series D funding round in March, led by Paradigm. In late June, Nansen, which tracks money flows across the Ethereum blockchain, raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Messari, which analyzes crypto market data, also raised $21 million in Series A funding last month, led by Point72 Ventures.

“Many different types of interesting metrics in this space are oriented toward traders or products, for funds or investors. But we want to make every single metric serviced for free to the community,” Fredrik Haga, Dune Analytics co-founder, told Decrypt in a call from his Oslo base. Dune’s data dashboards are free for everyone to play with, but there’s also a premium option for those who want more features, like running six (instead of only three) queries in parallel and skipping the query queue.

Dune had been a two-person team until September when it netted $2 million in a seed funding round led by Dragonfly Capital. Since then, the company has brought on eight employees, Haga said, and it will use this round to become a 25-strong, Europe-wide team, mostly made up of engineers.

The company needs more engineers because the Ethereum network has recently become more fragmented with several layers, with data scattered across the network. “That makes it even harder to dissect what’s going on,” Haga said.

Dune’s analytics now also cover data from Optimism and Polygon, Ethereum’s layer 2 solutions deployed to reduce transaction times and costs on the network. But he wants Dune to be able to do more—”cover all the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chains and other smart-contract chains.” (In theory, this could include blockchains such as Solana, for example, which is both EVM compatible and supports smart contracts.) Union Square Ventures, which allocated investment to Dune from its $250 million fund launched in January, is betting big on its ability to deliver more.

USV Launches $250 Million Fund, Plans to Invest 30% in Crypto Startups

Dune’s particular focus of analysis is on decentralized finance (DeFi), a wide network of non-custodial financial services powered by smart contracts (self-executing code) built mostly on Ethereum. These services can include things like lending, borrowing, and trading of crypto assets, all without the need for third-party intermediaries. And Dune’s tools are built to provide insights into how these DeFi protocols are performing in terms of volume, number of users, and transaction sizes.

Haga said the depth of financial data anyone in the world can access on DeFi players like MakerDAO easily surpasses the months-old trading data served to Wall Street execs in a PDF. “The revolution will not be reported quarterly,” is the title of his January 2021 blog post.

And if crypto’s a revolution, Oslo may be its intelligence hub. The co-founders of data analytics firms Nansen and Arcane Research are also from the Norwegian capital. “It’s just a funny coincidence,” Haga said.

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