Blockworks exclusive: Layer-1 blockchain Injective wants to become the future of all things DeFi, but it faces stiff competition
By Bessie Liu
Blockchain startup Injective Labs has secured $40 million in its latest funding round, led by Jump Crypto.
BH Digital, the digital asset division of hedge fund firm Brevan Howard, is also participating.
Injective is behind a layer-1 blockchain network of the same name, which launched its mainnet last year. It’s designed for developers building DeFi applications — including exchanges, derivatives, prediction markets and options.
Eric Chen, Injective Labs’ CEO, told Blockworks that as the project evolved, it slowly became a “general purpose layer-1 blockchain with a sector-specific focus.”
Chen is hoping that developers will launch their DeFi (decentralized finance) applications on Injective over the raft of rival smart contract-powered networks on offer, such as Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche and Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
Injective utilizes Ignite (formerly Tendermint), a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. It is compatible with other Cosmos Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) chains but can also communicate with other layer-1 blockchains such as Ethereum.
More than 40 people currently work at Injective Labs, and the ecosystem has so far onboarded a handful of applications.
Injective boasts just $100 million in total value locked (TVL), a measure of how much crypto is kept inside the network’s DeFi apps. By comparison, Ethereum, the largest network by TVL, currently commands $38.5 billion while second and third place BSC and TRON both have about $5.8 billion locked, per DeFi Llama.
“Businesses and financial institutions have already begun to participate in DeFi in a big way and the natural next step will be building personalized decentralized applications,” Kanav Kariya, president of Jump Crypto, said in a statement. “We look forward to building together with the Injective community and are optimistic about the ecosystem’s future growth.”
Injective needs to attract DeFi developers
Injective’s mainnet upgrade last month made it easier for popular dApps from other blockchains to migrate to its network. Aperture, a cross-chain investment ecosystem that was previously one of the most popular dApps on Terra, for example, is in the process of building its automated yield strategy dApp on Injective.
“Majority of the funding we will use toward supporting, expanding and building toolkits to make their [users] lives a little bit easier and grow this ecosystem effort,” Chen said.
Injective has pegged the new capital to boost utility for its native token, INJ, which has fallen more than 80% in the year to date. The funding will also help provide liquidity to existing dApps on its network and also support any new projects.
“This funding round is really the mark of working with large institutions to put Injective into the map,” Chen said. “More importantly, creating a strong liquidity environment for any DeFi builders and any novel application to really flex their imagination.”
This article originally appeared on Blockworks.
Injective is a lightning fast interoperable layer one blockchain optimized for building the premier Web3 finance applications. Injective provides developers with powerful plug-and-play modules for creating unmatched dApps. INJ is the native asset that powers Injective and its rapidly growing ecosystem. Injective is incubated by Binance and is backed by prominent investors such as Jump Crypto, Pantera and Mark Cuban.