Cryptocurrency trading platform Abra has raised $55 million in funding to bootstrap the next phase of its growth strategy, bringing several high-profile investors on board from both inside and outside the blockchain industry.
Abra will use funds from the Series C investment to grow its product offerings in wealth management, trading and payments, as well as expand its in-house capacity, the company announced Wednesday.
Amex Ventures, a venture capital arm of American Express, was among the contributors alongside Blockchain Capital, Ignia, Kingsway Capital and Stellar Development Foundation. Abra has now raised over $85 million since its inception.
Bill Barhydt, Abra's founder and CEO, said his company's "vision of crypto-centric banking is coming to life" amid the surge in institutional and retail interest, evidenced by the remarkable growth of decentralized finance and nonfungible tokens.
Abra has seen significant uptake of its trading services over the past year as billions of dollars flowed into the cryptocurrency market. The company now has 155,000 monthly users and has processed over $4 billion in transactions. Its Abra Trade and Abra Earn services manage over $1 billion in assets.
Earlier this year, Abra launched a new cryptocurrency lending and borrowing service, capitalizing on one of the most popular use cases within DeFi. The services allow borrowers to access their crypto price gains without selling their holdings and triggering a taxable event.
DeFi lending protocols have exploded in popularity over the past year, with Aave and Compound locking in a combined $25 billion in total value, according to industry data. In terms of total value locked, DeFi is fast approaching a $200 billion market.
Venture funds have been keen to back DeFi projects, especially those within the lending and borrowing sectors. As Cointelegraph reported, a Stanford researcher-led decentralized lending platform raised $3 million from several investors. The protocol, known as Pledge, aims to facilitate long-term financing for crypto holders.