Multichain cryptocurrency wallet provider Phantom today announced it has raised $9 million in an early-stage funding round following the recent launch of its app and browser extension.
The Series A funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and also saw participation from Variant Fund, Jump Capital, DeFi Alliance, and Solana Foundation.
Phantom is a multichain cryptocurrency wallet that’s designed to be easy to use for beginners but also provides advanced tools for veterans. That means that it can access multiple distributed ledger blockchains at once and provides broad reach for decentralized finance applications, also called DeFi.
Since its beta launch in April 2021, Phantom has added 40,000 users, growing its signups to 70,000 and secured $50,000 in grants from decentralized exchange Serum and high-performance blockchain Solana. By building a wallet capable of supporting decentralized finance’s key functions, Phantom has quickly grown its U.S. user base and hopes to keep growing with continued adoption.
In order to participate in DeFi, users need access to wallets to store assets securely. Crypto wallets are the first point of interaction for consumers, and Phantom intends to help lower the barrier to entry with a simplified browser-based app.
The wallet also features capabilities for dealing with nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which are unique tradable digital assets, which users store in their crypto wallets in order to engage in digital economies. Examples of NFTs include stocks and bonds, real estate, digital artwork, video game characters and even luxury items.
The problem with all of these different crypto assets and NFTs is that they often exist on separate blockchains and are accessed using different apps and across different platforms. The result is a need for exchanges and bridges to platforms in order to complete what otherwise would be simple trades.
“The wallets and bridges currently available are preventing users from moving digital assets from one blockchain to another without third-party assistance, resulting in decreased usage and fragmented participation across the DeFi ecosystem,” said Brandon Millman, co-founder and chief executive of Phantom.
The world of decentralized finance is still extremely complex and difficult to interact with. With Phantom’s interface, much of that is simplified, there is an easy-to-use interface and new users are guided through every step of the onboarding process.
“We’re entering the next phase of decentralized computing, and Phantom is an important part of that story,” said Garry Tan, an early investor in Coinbase, who also joined the funding round. “Great user experience for interfacing with digital assets and decentralized applications is the missing link.”
Phantom’s browser extension is compatible with Google Chrome, Brave, Firefox and Microsoft Edge. Later this year, the app will release its own mobile applications for iOS and Android and will add new features, including Ethereum support and bridges between other blockchains.
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