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Umee Raises $6.3M to Connect Cosmos and Ethereum With Cross-Chain DeFi

The project, led by Tendermint’s former strategy lead, secured backing from Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures and others.

Jun 15, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:11 p.m. UTC

Decentralized finance (DeFi) in a multichain world exists in silos. A new project is enlisting prominent backers to fix that.

Announced Tuesday, Umee has raised a $6.3 million seed round led by Polychain Capital and including Coinbase Ventures, IDEO CoLab, Alameda Research, ConsenSys and others.

The funding comes as DeFi finds its footing beyond its original home, Ethereum, and investors look for interoperability among various blockchains.

“Our flagship product right now is cross-chain interest rates,” Umee CEO and founder Brent Xu, told CoinDesk.

Xu, who previously worked at ConsenSys, also previously led strategy at Tendermint, helping to build out Cosmos and its Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol.

DeFi has flourished on Tendermint-enabled networks such as Binance Smart Chain and Terra, but assets on those networks live at a distant remove from DeFi on Ethereum.

Umee aims to be a universal tool, Xu said, by “using bridge technology to connect between Ethereum and other blockchain ecosystems.”

In an introductory blog post published last month, the team elaborated:

“Umee will utilize the IBC protocol that was created out of the Cosmos ecosystem. ... A key consideration of Umee will be to expand the DeFi activities between Cosmos and Ethereum while introducing additional composability with other protocols.”

“We’re very excited about expanding the ecosystem,” said Xu. “Not many teams have the same access to engineers as us.”

DISCLOSURE

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.

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