Orca raises $18M from Polychain, Placeholder, Three Arrows, and more

This post was originally published on Orca

There’s big news under the sea…

Just a month after launching the ORCA governance token, we are excited to announce Orca’s first fundraise!

Today, we welcome Polychain, Placeholder, and Three Arrows as co-leads, along with investments from Jump Capital, Sino Global Capital, Collab & Currency, DeFiance, Zee Prime, Coinbase Ventures, Solana Capital, and a number of angel investors. These investors will jumpstart our path toward making Orca the go-to swap for the Solana ecosystem.

“Not only is Orca responsive and affordable, but it is finance made fun, with a cheery experience, community, and broader values-based mission. It’s teams like Orca that will bring crypto to the mainstream and redefine how we think of finance in our everyday lives,” says Placeholder partner Chris Burniske

Our team

Orca is the brainchild of cofounders Yutaro Mori and Grace “Ori” Kwan. Yutaro’s expertise in crypto stems from several years spent building Ethereum 2.0 and implementing smart contracts at UMA. Meanwhile, Ori combines her experiences as a designer and engineer at IDEO, Coursera, and Stanford to bring a human touch to DeFi.

When we launched in February 2021, we were a lean team of 2 with no outside funding. Since then, we’ve expanded the core team to 8, spanning three continents, broad professional experience (Google, Amazon, McKinsey, and many startups), and many hobbies (acro-yoga, music production, and swing dancing come to mind). We’re proud to be building not only modern financial infrastructure, but a thriving remote culture built on trust and transparency.

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Where we’ve been…

Orca is the AMM you love to use. As one of the first apps in the Solana ecosystem, we strive to show how crypto UX can be truly delightful. From lightning-fast swaps and minimal fees to UX innovations like our Fair Price Indicator and Magic Bar, we’ve already made major strides toward that goal.

We’re also proud to be one of the first protocols on Solana to conduct a fair launch of our governance token, which gave our community the earliest access to the ORCA token. Since then, we’ve reached $735 million in lifetime trade volume, $250 million in total value locked, and over 18,000 monthly unique wallets.

“Orca’s AMM is a critical addition to the Solana ecosystem. We are excited by the strength of the team, performance, and their community focused mission,” says Kyle Davies, Co-founder of Three Arrows

On the community front, we’ve donated $120,000 to climate change through our Impact Fund, produced a podcast, OrcaPod, and distributed 14,000 Collectibles, making us one of the earliest projects to explore the intersection of NFTs and DeFi. In the near future, Orca Collectible holders will have access to exclusive perks, including special access to upcoming NFT projects and the opportunity to stake their Collectibles to earn ORCA!

…and where we’re going

The earliest AMMs on Ethereum shook the financial world by making it incredibly simple for anyone to swap tokens and provide liquidity. The flipside of that elegance, however, is lower capital efficiency relative to the orderbook model.

Our mission is to create a next-generation AMM that pairs greater capital efficiency with the simple, human-centered UX you’ve come to expect from Orca.

Along the way, we’ll enable Community Pools, which will enable support for the long-tail of tokens. In addition, we’ll continue improving our SDK, making it easy for any project to build on top of our smart contracts. The path there involves three major initiatives:

  • Feature development on the smart contract and UI layers
  • Awareness through global expansion, social media campaigns, and NFT art projects
  • Partnerships with lending platforms, dashboards, aggregators, NFT projects, and more

This fundraise gives us the resources to invest heavily in these three areas, ensuring everyone in DeFi has the chance to fall in love with our modern AMM. After that, we’ll turn our attention to building a robust governance system, with the long-term goal of full decentralization.

We think of fundraising as building a team, and we couldn’t be happier with the broad range of talents and values-alignment that our new investors bring to the Orca family. If you’d like to be a part of the journey, it’s not too late. We’re looking for a Smart Contract Engineer and Full-Stack Engineer, and we’d love for one of them to be you! If you’re new to Orca, you can also try out a swap on Orca.so, follow us on Twitter, or join our Discord and Telegram. We’ll be waiting!

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