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Injective launches $150M ecosystem fund to accelerate interoperable infra and DeFi adoption

Injective, a layer-1 blockchain focused on building financial applications, has launched a $150 million fund ecosystem initiative, the platform’s CEO and co-founder, Eric Chen, told TechCrunch.

“We’ve seen a lot of ecosystem funds in the past do various things, but there isn’t really an established ecosystem fund for Injective and Cosmos as a whole,” Chen said. “We call it a venture consortium because they can get investments from there or direct institutions.”

Injective was incubated by Binance Labs in 2018 and later backed by Jump Crypto, Pantera Capital and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban. In the third quarter of 2022, it raised an institutional funding round from Brevan Howard and Jump. Its ecosystem works with decentralized applications (dApps) such as Coinbase, Figment, Pyth and Wormhole, to name a few.

Its new ecosystem fund is backed by previous investors like Pantera and Jump as well as other web3 players, including Kraken Ventures, KuCoin Ventures, Delphi Labs, Flow Traders, Gate Labs and IDG Capital. The $150 million was pooled capital from the consortium and will be deployed over “a few years,” Chen said.

The group aims to support projects building on Injective or Cosmos blockchains in the interoperability, DeFi, trading, proof-of-stake infrastructure and scalability solutions sectors, it said.

“It will start backing early-stage projects then slowly move from seed to later stages as the ecosystem grows as a whole,” Chen added. “With the launch of this consortium, we are going to kick off this ecosystem fund with a hackathon to bring in investors and backers. This will basically introduce a lot more opportunities for consortium members as well.”

The Injective Global Virtual Hackathon will start in March for a four-week online event with $1 million in prizes, grants and investments.

“It’s a pivotal time to stand up and back people building,” Chen said. “For Injective’s case, there’s a huge surge in builders coming from other layer-1 networks, but more importantly [centralized finance] builders like exchanges and trading firms that are committed to creating something truly decentralized.”

In the current market, there’s a lot of quality projects looking for backing but having more difficulty reaching investors, Chen noted. “They’re still deploying and this consortium is a strong signal that they’ll be backing new projects and their funds are actively participating in the ecosystem.”

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