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Pantera, Jump Crypto Back $150M Injective Ecosystem Fund

Injective, a Cosmos-based layer 1 blockchain for building finance apps that can access other blockchains, unveiled a $150 million ecosystem initiative with partners including crypto investment firms Pantera Capital and Kucoin Ventures, market maker Jump Crypto and research and development hub Delphi Labs. The fund will back projects that accelerate the adoption of interoperable infrastructure and decentralized finance (DeFi).

The initiative will offer token and equity investments and give operational support through memberships in development, cryptographic research, marketing and community growth. Injective, based in New York, is also kicking off a global virtual hackathon where developers will be able to submit projects for potential venture funding.

The collapse of multibillion-dollar centralized crypto exchange FTX in November tightened the wallets of investors, though a number of deals were already in progress. Injective was able to assemble the ecosystem initiative in a couple of months, co-founder and CEO Eric Chen told CoinDesk in an interview.

“It certainly accelerated because of the recent failures of centralized players,” said Chen. “But it wasn’t difficult at all, for us at least, because a lot of the backers have formally or informally participated in the ecosystem, supporting projects.”

Injective-based apps cover a range of financial verticals, including exchanges, options, derivatives and lending. The initiative will support projects that focus on interoperability, DeFi, trading, proof-of-stake (PoS) infrastructure and scalability solutions. Other backers include Gate Labs, Flow Traders, IDG Capital and Kraken Ventures.

Injective's decentralized smart contract platform was created using Cosmos' software development kit (SDK) and provides developers with modules to speed up the development of complex protocols. Injective protocols have interoperability through the native access to chains enabled with Cosmos IBC (Inter-Blockchain Communication) and Ethereum.

The ecosystem is powered by the INJ token, which has a market cap of about $144.6 million, according to CoinDesk data. In August, Injective raised $40 million in a funding round backed by Jump Crypto and hedge fund Brevan Howard to boost INJ’s utility in providing liquidity to projects in the ecosystem.

The price of INJ was down with the rest of the crypto market ahead of the news, but has since rallied to be up more than 20% for the 24-hour period to $2.36.

Read more: VC Firm Pantera's 2023 Crypto Forecast Says the Future Is DeFi

UPDATE (15:15 UTC): Update adds INJ price movement.