DeFi wallet Phantom raises $9 million in Series A funding led by A16z

Jul 14, 2021 | The Block News | 0 comments

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Phantom, a crypto wallet and browser extension for accessing decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, has raised $9 million in a Series A funding round.

Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) led the round, with participation from Variant Fund, Jump Capital, DeFi Alliance, and the Solana Foundation. Angel investors, including early Coinbase investor Garry Tan and unknown executives from Compound, dYdX, Lolli, and the Ethereum Foundation, also backed the round.

With fresh capital at hand, Phantom, a non-custodial wallet that currently supports the Solana blockchain, plans to expand to other networks, including Ethereum and Ethereum layer-two scaling solutions.

“We are currently engaging with and evaluating a number of layer-two solutions, and sidechains, including Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism, and ZK Sync,” Phantom CEO Brandon Millman told The Block. He said Phantom is targeting the fall of this year for multi-chain support.

Besides expanding to the Ethereum ecosystem, another major plan of Phantom is to continue innovating on its Solana ecosystem and introduce more features, said Millman. These features include in-wallet staking, more markets and liquidity for the in-wallet token swapper, fiat on-ramps via MoonPay, and a new Ethereum/Solana asset bridge, he said.

“We will look at monetization of our in-wallet token swapper and potentially staking features. NFTs are also an exciting new area for experimentation,” said Millman on Phantom’s business model.

Phantom is currently a team of three full-time founders — Millman, Chris Kalani, and Francesco Agosti — with plans to grow to a team of 10-15 total by hiring across engineering, community, and support roles, said Millman.

As part of its development plans, Phantom is also looking to release its mobile applications for iOS and Android.

Phantom had a beta launch in April of this year and claims to have secured 40,000 users and 70,000 signups. The multi-chain support and the user-first approach are Phantom’s competitive advantages, said Millman. “We are moving to more and more of a multi-chain world … Users need a way to seamlessly operate applications that live across these different networks, and we believe the wallet is the best place to solve this unique challenge,” he said.

This is Phantom’s first fundraising round, having skipped a seed round, said Millman. Earlier this year, the project received $500,000 in grants from Serum and the Solana Foundation.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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