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Alan Howard raises $7.5 million to Nested

French DeFi platform Nested has raised a $7.5 million Series A round led by hedge fund heavyweight Alan Howard as the company seeks to expand its offering of social-focused trading tools.

The British investor was joined by Republic Capital, Kenetic Capital and CMT Digital, according to a statement today. The former president of Polychain Capital, Joseph Eagen, also took part in the round.

This is not the first crypto startup Howard has backed. Last year, he led a $25 million investment into London-based crypto custodian Copper, along with previous investments in payments startup Bottlepay and Canadian lender Ledn, among others. 

Nested differs from his previous investments in that it sees itself as a social trading platform for DeFi. After connecting with a supported wallet, Nested allows users to build portfolios of tokens which are themselves minted as NFTs. In a parallel of the “copy trading” features developed by online broker eToro, Nested says these “Nested NFTs” are easily discoverable on the platform and can be used by creators to share DeFi investment strategies.

“[We] backed Nested because we are thrilled to see such a mature product with a UX that is primed for ease,” Andrew Durgee, co-managing partner at Republic Capital, said in the statement. “We believe that Nested is ready to be used out of the box and geared for adoption.”

Nested plans to use the extra funding to hire staff and introduce features such as portfolio leaderboards, staking, and social media-like aspects such as user profiles and integrated messaging.