Solana ecosystem project Orca has concluded an $18 million Series A investment round led by some of the biggest venture funds in crypto, offering further evidence that high-profile investors are keen to back SOL-based startups.
Orca, which operates as a decentralized exchange, will use the funds to continue developing its automated market maker solutions for Solana, the company announced Wednesday. The raise comes less than eight months after the project was launched by a two-member team consisting of Yutaro Mori and Grace Kwan.
In addition to Three Arrows Capital, Polychain, Placeholder and Coinbase Ventures, Series A participants included Jump Capital, Sino Global Capital, DeFiance Capital, Zee Prime, Collab+Currency and Solana Capital.
Orca aims to differentiate itself from other automated market makers by delivering a simplified DEX experience. It was one of the first protocols to launch on the Solana blockchain, which is now valued at over $39 billion. As Cointelegraph reported, the S network experienced a major outage last week tied to an initial DEX offering for Grape Protocol.
Related: Smashing crypto adoption barrier? Solana aims to do its own ‘thing’
Decentralized exchanges have received considerable attention from investors looking to capitalize on some of the biggest trends in blockchain. DEXs claim to solve the myriad issues plaguing legacy platforms while also delivering innovative trading solutions and lower barriers to entry for new participants.
Currently, the top DEXs by trading volume are Uniswap, PancapeSwap and SushiSwap. Daily volume across all DEXs reached $5.5 billion on Tuesday, according to Coingecko.
The industry’s rapid growth over the past year appears to have caught the attention of regulators, with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission reportedly investigating Uniswap. Specifically, the U.S. securities regulator is seeking more information about the company’s marketing and investor services, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.