Esprezzo, a decentralized finance (DeFi) startup building data automation tools, raised $2 million from Mark Cuban, Arrington Capital and CMS Holdings, among others.
The round gives this three-year-old Boston company a capital boost ahead of its data automation suite rollout planned for later this year. It signals continued investor interest in the companies working to monetize the DeFi space through secondary applications.
Cuban’s investment is his third bet on DeFi and blockchain projects since becoming an outspoken advocate for decentralized tech late last year. Since then he has introduced crypto payment options to the Dallas Mavericks, previewed a digital non-fungible token (NFT) art gallery and toured the podcast circuit talking up collectible digital assets.
"Everything is driven by fast and accurate access to data. Which is exactly what Esprezzo excels at. Their product is 'fungibility at its best. It's adaptable. It's straightforward. It’s easy to configure and use," said Cuban in an email to CoinDesk.
Founder Remy Carpinito said Esprezzo’s automation tools simplify data pull requests for on-chain sources like smart contracts, an essential DeFi building block. He said the tool’s no-code user interface offers veteran users a means to feed data to trading bots and gives newcomers a workaround for technical pitfalls.
Esprezzo, data and the DeFi boom
DeFi refers to an ecosystem of products for lending, trading and exchanging digital assets, mostly through protocols atop the Ethereum blockchain. Traders are hungry for data that could give them an edge in the $43 billion DeFi sector.
After holding steady to a three-member team since pivoting to crypto in 2018, Carpinito said Esprezzo now plans to greatly expand its ranks to keep up with the DeFi boom. Its user base of 1,500 is growing rapidly, in large part due to the accelerating popularity of Esprezzo’s Uniswap trading pair discovery bot.
“Searching through block explorers was really the only method to see any on-chain data,” in 2018, Carpinito said, pointing to what he called a huge barrier to entry for retail traders and even experienced users. “We just want to make that as simple as possible.”
Carpinito said the funding from Cuban and other investors will go toward continued development of upcoming products like a more expansive notification platform called Dispatch that will cover protocols atop the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain blockchains when it launches in Q2.
Dispatch is “protocol agnostic,” said Carpinito. He said Ethereum’s ongoing gas crisis, which has emboldened competing networks to vie for expat DeFi protocols, highlights the importance of casting a wide net for projects like Esprezzo.
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