Sei, a layer-1 blockchain focused on trading, has raised $30 million, Jayendra Jog, co-founder of Sei Labs, exclusively told TechCrunch. A company spokesperson shared an $800 million valuation for the round with TechCrunch prior to publication.
While many Layer-1 blockchains provide general-purpose networks that developers can build on top of, Sei focuses on the crypto trading network through its chain. Its team is made up of former employees from Goldman Sachs, Databricks, Robinhood, Google and Nvidia.
“Our mission is to build the best infrastructure for exchanges,” Jog said, adding that the blockchain also has projects building games, NFT marketplaces and rollups. “It’s not just DeFi, but other [applications] that derive demand from trading.”
The firm raised capital to gain the “right strategic partners, especially going into mainnet,” Jog said. The money will also be used to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.
The blockchain is still in its public testnet phase and plans on launching its mainnet later this year, hopefully in the second quarter, he added. Blockchains use testnet periods to run and test projects on their network prior to a full launch.
“From our side, we had ample runway,” Jog said. Sei raised a $5 million seed round in August 2022, but said the primary goal for this round wasn’t “just focused on capital, but to get the right set of partners.”
Investors in the new round include Jump Crypto, Distributed Global, Multicoin Capital, Asymmetric Capital Partners, Flow Traders, Hypersphere Ventures and Bixin Ventures.
In September, Sei launched a $50 million ecosystem and liquidity fund to support new DeFi applications on its platform.
The blockchain has over 120 projects building on its blockchain. Its latest public testnet attracted about 3.6 million unique users and processed over 35 million transactions in less than a month in mid-March, the company said.
“There will be a lot of crypto-native adoption, but there need to be applications that are more general and super inclusive for there to be greater adoption,” Jog said.
Update: The lede was amended to include more precision concerning the valuation figure.