Key Takeaways

  • Serum, a decentralized exchange on Solana, is midway through a major fundraise.
  • Through a token sale fundraiser, the team has secured $70 million out of a planned $100 million.
  • Serum is a critical component of Solana’s DeFi ecosystem with nearly $2 billion in TVL.

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Serum, a leading order book-based decentralized exchange on Solana, has raised $70 million out of a planned $100 million. The funds will go toward growing Serum itself as well as toward new projects emerging within its ecosystem, according to a press release made public today.

Serum Secures $70 Million in Committed Capital

Solana’s DeFi ecosystem is getting a new cash injection.

Incentive Ecosystem Foundation, the community-led foundation largely behind the development of Serum, has revealed that it is in the middle of an ongoing $100 million fundraising round. A pseudonymous core contributor to Project Serum going by JHL told CoinDesk that the organization had already raised about $70 million in committed capital out of the targeted $100 million. 

The foundation plans to grow the Serum ecosystem with the new funds, of which $15 million have been allocated for that purpose. With the new funds in place, Incentive Ecosystem Foundation plans to support emerging projects in DeFi, NFTs, and gaming. The rest of the capital will be deployed toward new hires, hackathons, and other growth initiatives for Project Serum itself.

The fundraising was conducted via token sale in which several tokens from across the Serum ecosystem were offered to investors at a discount, in most cases 15%. These tokens included Solana (SOL), Serum (SRM), Raydium (RAY), Oxygen (OXY), Pyth Network (PYTH), and others. Notable participants in the fundraising round included Commonwealth Asset Management, Tiger Capital, and executives at Golden Tree Asset Management, among others. The investments are locked for one year, after which the tokens will vest linearly over five years. 

Serum and Solana

Serum is a protocol for decentralized finance dApps on Solana. It launched in August 2020.

The ecosystem is considered the backbone of DeFi on Solana, currently hosting over 70 projects that between them boast nearly $2 billion in total value locked. 

Serum operates on a decentralized central limit order book system governed by smart contracts. Rather than relying on automated market makers, Serum’s smart contracts match buyers and sellers directly according to price-time priority. In this way, it is intended to compete with AMM-based exchanges like SushiSwap and Uniswap, which utilize liquidity pools to make trading possible.

Serum was originally founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, who is more well known as the founder of FTX and Alameda Research. However, it is now managed by the Incentive Ecosystem Foundation, the legal entity that staffs the team of core contributors and pays their salaries.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned SOL and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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