Solana-based DePIN Io.net Raises $30M at Valuation of $1B

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 2 min read
Solana-based DePIN Io.net Raises $30M at Valuation of $1B
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IO Research began its fundraising campaign for the round in January of this year and recently concluded the final portion. The majority of investors joined the round earlier at a valuation of $500 million.

On Tuesday, March 5, IO Research disclosed a $30 million Series A funding round led by Hack VC, with contributions from Multicoin Capital, Solana Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, OKX Ventures, Aptos Labs, The Sandbox, Delphi Digital, Sebastian Borget, and more. IO Research is the developer of the popular Solana-based decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePIN) io.net. Sources familiar with the matter stated that the latest fundraise happens at a fully diluted token valuation of $1 billion.

IO Research initiated its fundraising efforts for the round in January of this year and completed the final portion recently, according to one of the sources. While most investors participated in the round earlier at a valuation of $500 million, the sources revealed.

The funding round happened in phases structured as a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE), with token warrants issued in a 1:1 ratio. Ahmad Shadid, the founder and CEO of io.net, also verified the round’s structure to The Block, noting that all investors are subject to a minimum one-year lock-in period for tokens.

Interestingly, the fundraise comes just before io.net’s scheduled release of its native IO token in April 2024. Also, the staggering $1 billion in valuation will add further weight to this.

Having secured new funding, the project aims to expand its existing team from approximately 50 to 100 individuals by the year’s end. This growth is also essential to meet growing customer demand and to further develop the network.

More Details About Io.Net

Io.net, a DePIN project built on Solana, focuses on aggregating GPU computing power for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) companies. Launched in November 2023, it has grown to over 25,000 GPUs and processed 40,000+ compute hours for AI and ML firms.

Described as “the scarcest commodity in the world” by Shayon Sengupta, an investment partner at Multicoin Capital, io.net aims to democratize GPU computing. It also leverages the Solana blockchain for transparent proof-of-compute, ensuring visibility of every job and transaction on-chain.

Through its IO token, io.net offers a unified transaction experience and facilitates incentive mechanisms for suppliers, customers, and users, thereby fostering network growth and participation.

“Io.net saves customers up to 90% on their cloud AI costs. In an age where GPU chips are in high demand with global shortages, that is simply an incredible accomplishment,” said Ed Roman, managing partner at Hack VC.

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