Strengthening the DeFi Space By Backing 1inch and More Startups
Binance Labs has recently led the $2.8 million funding round for decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch. This is part of the ongoing effort by Binance Labs to support some of the most impactful startups in the DeFi space.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) is increasingly becoming prominent in terms of advancing the progress that blockchain technology brings to society. In this light, Binance Labs is supporting several DeFi startups that we see as current or potential major players in the space.
The latest move from the Binance Labs team is its leadership of a $2.8 million funding round for 1inch, a decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator. Many notable investors and investment funds have supported Binance Labs’ lead in this investment round, including Galaxy Digital, Greenfield One, Libertus Capital, Dragonfly Capital, FTX, IOSG, LAUNCHub Ventures, Divergence Ventures, Kyber founder Loi Luu, and NEAR Protocol co-founder Illia Polosukhin.
As a DEX aggregator, 1inch sources liquidity from various exchanges, using smart contract technology that splits a single trade transaction across multiple DEXs, enabling users to optimize and customize trades. 1inch has already integrated support from top DEXs including Uniswap, Kyber Network, Airswap, Oasis, Bancor, Balancer, Curve, and many more.
“DEX aggregation is a critical building block that co-enabled the most recent DeFi boom. It allows executing large order sizes at low slippage rates. 1inch has become the de facto interface for trade execution in DeFi,” said Binance Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ). “It is of great pleasure to support the 1inch team in their relentless quest to drive user adoption in DeFi.”
Sergej Kunz, CEO, and Anton Bukov, CTO, launched 1inch in May 2019 at the ETHGlobal hackathon in New York. To date, 1inch’s daily active wallet statistics have surged from 115 wallets last year to over 1,200 wallets in July 2020, totaling over 17,700 wallets. The startup recorded a total of over $1 billion in trading volume, showing how much business activity 1inch was able to help generate for decentralized trading.
“Our team had first met Sergej and Anton at ETHParis in February 2019 where the two pitched a BNB utility project to us. On a subsequent hackathon, the team launched 1inch and, after first traction, decided to commercialize it,” said Binance Strategy Officer Gin Chao.
Building a Roster of Game-Changing DeFi Startups
Over the past two years, the Binance Labs team has been actively investing in startups and projects within the realm of decentralized finance. The 1inch investment is just one of the many moves that Binance’s venture arm has done to grow the DeFi space and change how we interact with financial services.
Other DeFi-related projects backed by Binance Labs, through direct investments and its incubation program, include:
- Dune Analytics. This is a collaborative blockchain analytics platform that allows to query, visualize, share, and explore human-readable smart contract data.
- Injective Protocol. This fully decentralized layer-2 DEX solves front running and collisions and enables trustless liquidity sharing. Injective Protocol is one of the BUIDLers that emerged from the first season of the Binance Labs Incubation Program in 2018.
- Tellor. This decentralized oracle for DeFi provides a viable alternative to siloed blockchain networks that otherwise rely on centralized data sources for querying off-chain data. Also a graduate of the Binance Labs Incubation Program, Tellor recently published an in-depth analysis on decentralization of oracles.
- Terra. This is a next-generation, blockchain-based payment network that adopts a price-stable cryptocurrency as its medium of exchange. Binance Labs invested in Terra in April 2019. In recent weeks, Terra teamed up with Cosmos and Polkadot to launch Anchor, an innovative passive income protocol that aims to reduce volatility in lending yield on DeFi by leveraging liquid staking derivatives.
- Strike Protocol. This Ethereum-based derivatives protocol, also one of the BUIDLers from the first season of the Binance Labs Incubation Program, handles decentralized perpetual swaps for any asset. It came out of stealth mode in May 2020, with features like up to 20x leverage, minimal oracle usage, and more.
It’s not just Binance Labs that is supporting the development and growth of DeFi; Binance Launchpad has also supported at least two other DeFi projects:
- Band Protocol. This DeFi project offers a decentralized data oracle by making data readily available to be queried on-chain, using Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) to ensure data integrity. The BAND token sale took place in September 2019.
- Kava. This cross-chain DeFi platform offers collateralized loans and stablecoins to users of major crypto assets. Users can collateralize their crypto assets in exchange for USDX, Kava's stablecoin. The KAVA token sale took place in October 2019.
The Binance ecosystem, led by our divisions such as Binance Labs and Binance Launchpad, will continue to support the growth of DeFi.