Shiba Inu Lead Dev Explains New $12 Million Funding Round

Lead Dev Shytoshi Kusama explains Shiba Inu's rise from memecoin to movement

By: Zack Guzman

April 22, 2024

The team behind Shiba Inu, one of the most popularly traded memecoins in the world, just closed a new $12 million funding round featuring investments from some of the largest crypto backers in the space, including Web3 power player Animoca Brands and Cypher Capital.

In an exclusive interview with TheStreet Crypto and Coinage founder Zack Guzman on the sidelines of Token2049 in Dubai, Lead Dev Shytoshi Kusama explained how the round would help open doors for the existing Shiba Inu community.

“Having new friends when you move tactically against other [memecoins] like DOGE, and other projects like Cardano and XRP, the ability to prove yourself and have new validation is extremely important,” he said in an exclusive interview. “This is like everything we do for the community – we’re not going to go out and buy Lambos, we’re going to go out and finalize what we want to do.”

Kusama, who was interviewed under his pseudonym and off-camera in the interview above to protect his security, said the the new funding was acquired through Shiba’s Panema corporation, Shiba Inu Mint S.A., via the sale of a new $TREAT utility token and will primarily be used to develop Shiba’s new blockchain, to ensure Shibarium becomes “the meme center of the world,” and to expand security and regulatory compliance.

In a new $12 million funding round, Shiba Inu has added serious investor firepower from names like Animoca Brands.
In a new $12 million funding round, Shiba Inu has added serious investor firepower from names like Animoca Brands.

“We have considered ourself a movement for quite a while now,” he said, noting that the next phase of growth will entail expanding Shiba Inu’s reach beyond existing crypto users. “I can’t capture much more market share of the crypto world — but, boy, is there a huge part of the world, like 95% of the world, that has no idea about crypto. They might’ve seen our brand, they might’ve seen our logo but they will [know us] by the end of the year.”

The Shibarium Layer-2 network, which lets users pay with Shiba Inu tokens, debuted last year as an Ethereum scaling solution. $SHIB tokens are up more than 100% since then, though most of the gains stacked up this year in February after Bitcoin ETFs trading sparked wider crypto excitement.

In its next chapter, Shiba will continue doubling down on the idea of a “social network state,” Kusama explained. In addition to enabling more community grants, the fresh funding will help efforts to increase the usability and portability of Shiba’s technology in more places to attract more users, via partnerships like the one with D3 to gain a .shib top-level domain, or the Content Delivery and Security Association in their efforts to leverage blockchain technology to authenticate or distribute videos. “We have a variety of partners in the pipeline that we will announce as we move forward to the end of this year,” Kusama said, adding that its latest token, “$TREAT” would also drop this year. 

The funding marks the latest injection of capital into the Shiba Inu Ecosystem through a purchase of the not-yet-released $TREAT utility and governance token, which will join Shiba Inu’s ecosystem of other tokens including $SHIB, $LEASH, $BONE, and related NFTs.

Other investors participating in the funding round included Mechanism Capital, Cypher Capital, Shima Capital, Big Brain Holdings, Hercules Ventures, Morningstar Ventures, Woodstock Fund, DWF Ventures, Polygon Ventures, Stake Capital, Illuminati Digital Capital, Primal Capital, and Spirit Dao.

“In essence, what we did is that we made sure that some of the most powerful people in the world have skin in our game, so to speak,” Kusama said.


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