Decentralized finance (DeFi) startup Zerion is building out its team with a $2 million investment from venture capital firms Placeholder, Blockchain.com Ventures and Gnosis.
According to a press release, Zerion provides a number of financial services using decentralized protocols, including credit creation, insurance and asset management. The company says it is able to provide these services more cheaply than existing centralized solutions.
CEO Evgeny Yurtaev told CoinDesk that the seed funding will primarily go towards adding support for new protocols – to date, Zerion supports MakerDAO, Compound, Uniswap and others – as well as hiring some additional developers.
Over the past five months, Zerion has processed just under $50 million in transaction volume, with a user experience interface designed to allow non-technical users to participate.
Much of its protocol integration comes from user feedback, Yurtaev said.
In a statement, Placeholder venture partner Brad Burnham said Zerion is providing a more accessible infrastructure for DeFi, which could allow it to reach a mainstream audience.
“Back in the '90s many of us intuitively understood the Internet was a powerful new infrastructure but it took Marc Andreeseen with Mosaic and then Netscape to make this powerful new infrastructure accessible to a broader audience,” he said in the statement. “DeFi, or decentralized finance, feels just as profoundly transformative today as the Internet did then, but it is still too hard to use.”
Blockchain.com Ventures managing partner Samuel Harrison added that DeFi could address use cases not well-served by the traditional financial infrastructure.
Yurtaev said the company is not looking to be the only such infrastructure provider.
“There’s a huge discussion about how Facebook and Google monopolize data and we were thinking about … in Web 3.0 this shouldn’t happen,” he said.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.