DeFi development firm Neon Labs has concluded a $40-million private token sale as part of its ongoing efforts to create an Ethereum-compatible environment on the Solana blockchain, underscoring heightened investor demand for scalability and liquidity solutions in the rapidly growing decentralized finance market.
The private sale of NEON tokens was led by Jump Capital, a Chicago-based venture firm, with additional participation from Shu Zu’s Three Arrows Capital, Solana Capital, Rockaway Blockchain Fund, Ethereal Ventures and CoLab Ventures, among others. Over 60 angels and ecosystem partners participated in the token sale, the company confirmed.
Proceeds from the sale will go toward Neon Labs’ research, development, marketing and business development work. The company also said it was in the process of formalizing an incentive program to encourage developers to innovate within the Neon ecosystem, which is not unlike what other projects such as Serum and Near Protocol are doing.
Neon Labs is attempting to create a multichain future for blockchain development, having only recently employed a cross-chain Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM, on the Solana network. During the launch of the EVM in July, the company touted Ethereum’s “thriving blockchain ecosystem” and Solana’s perceived technical strengths.
In a multichain environment, Neon has the potential to become a “core infrastructure block” that increases scaling possibilities for developers, said Saurabh Sharma, partner at Jump Capital. He further explained:
“From an engineer’s perspective, ‘write code once, run everywhere’ has been a holy grail for a long time as evidenced by Java’s Virtual Machine success. [...] Neon provides similar functionality by allowing developers to combine battle tested smart contracts for EVM-compatible chains with Solana’s parallelism and extremely fast execution layer.”
Despite suffering a major outage in September at the hands of a denial-of-service attack, Solana continues to be one of the fastest-growing blockchain ecosystems. As Cointelegraph reported, Solana’s SOL token recently surpassed Cardano (ADA) and Tether (USDT) to become the fourth-largest digital asset by market capitalization.
Solana projects have also become magnets for venture capital, with the likes of Orca, a SOL-based decentralized exchange, raising $18 million in September.
So far this year, venture funds have allocated over $17 billion to crypto- and blockchain-focused startups, underscoring heightened institutional and corporate interest in digital assets.