Paradigm Labs is closing down after concluding that interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) came too late in the company's life cycle.
Based in California, Paradigm Labs wanted to develop liquidity solutions for the DeFi space. It had a promising start in 2018 when it raised $1 million in an oversubscribed seed round led by Polychain Capital, with additional placements from Dragonfly Capital and Chapter One.
But in a blog post Tuesday, founder and CEO Liam Kovatch said: "Our team has come to the decision that without significant product market fit and limited resources to pursue emergent opportunities, the kind of success we envisioned for Paradigm Labs is unlikely."
Paradigm's failure to "carve a viable niche in the DEX marketplace" came as a result of a fast-evolving and fluid DeFi space that was difficult for the company to navigate, according to the post.
Its initial project, an order book that could be shared between different trading platforms, quickly became "obsolete" as Uniswap and P2P market infrastructure 0x Mesh grew in popularity, Kovatch said.
Although Paradigm had begun to make headway with a 0x-based non-custodial request-for-quotation system known as Zaidan, the company was "constrained by the high-capital requirements," meaning it couldn't service trades or "secure the necessary funding" to keep it running.
"The idea for Zaidan ... came to us late in the company’s life cycle at which point we were [too] under resourced to fully develop Zaidan. In general, we believe we were a bit too early," Kovatch said.
At the time of the seed round, Kovatch told CoinDesk the company had decided to cap investment at $1 million so the firm could remain "capital efficient and lean."
With Zaidan already shut down, Kovatch said Paradigm's 0x staking activities – known as Zaidan's War Chest – would be gradually wound up, along with the company, over the next month.
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