Sequoia Capital has invested in a $1 million-plus token fundraising round for decentralized finance (DeFi) lending project Parallel that puts the Polkadot-based protocol’s value at $250 million, CoinDesk reported Monday (Nov. 8).
Sequoia made its investment less than two weeks after it said it will add cryptocurrency options to its suite of investment opportunities, according to the report. The Polkadot crypto network hasn’t launched yet, but Parallel represents one of its marquee projects.
“We are incredibly excited about the vision and potential of DeFi,” Sequoia Partner Josephine Chen said, per the report, adding that Parallel is positioned to help “legacy firms” participate in blockchain.
Parallel, which had a $150 million valuation in August, has seen its user count jump 400% since that fundraising round, Parallel Founder Yubo Ruan told CoinDesk, calling Sequoia’s investment part of a “strategic” round that also gained support from Founders Fund and Shima Capital.
Sequoia’s Chinese and Indian divisions have invested in cryptocurrency in the past, as has the U.S. arm, which has worked with Coinbase Custody since at least late June, according to public records cited by CoinDesk.
Last month, Sequoia Capital announced it will debut a restructured, single fund to be called the Sequoia Fund that will take capital from investors, filtering it to the usual Sequoia venture funds that put money into U.S. and European startups.
The new fund is aimed at giving Sequoia and its investors more flexibility. Investors won’t have to put their money just toward one venture capital fund for several years, and Sequoia can hold onto investments longer than the typical 10-year limit of other VC funds.
Sequoia partner Roelof Botha said in a blog post: “Investments will no longer have ‘expiration dates.’ Our sole focus will be to grow value for our companies and limited partners over the long run.”