Seed Funding for Startups: How to raise venture capital as an entrepreneur
Fintech startup with Russian roots Zerion raised $ 2 million during the seed round of investments for the further development of its activities.
The lead investor was an American venture fund with a focus on technologies in the field of decentralized finance – Placeholder. Other participants in the round were Blockchain Ventures, the venture capital arm of one of the largest blockchain.com wallets, Gnosis, a leading European blockchain platform, a smart contract wallet developer for Ethereum and business angels – private investors from Silicon Valley Chris Liu, Paul Jacobian and Brad Burnham.
DeFi startup Zerion provides users with easy access to investing and managing decentralized assets. Unlike traditional financial services, Zerion users do not delegate control over their funds to the platform, which avoids many risks and makes the product available globally..
The first release of the product took place in January 2019, and since April the service has been in beta testing. During this time, transactions worth over $ 47 million were carried out through the platform.More than 2,000 investors from the USA, Great Britain, Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia use the platform every month, and the total number of users since the beginning of the year has grown to 10 000 people. Zerion uses Ethereum smart contract technologies and is integrated with key DeFi protocols: MakerDAO, Compound, Uniswap, Set and Fulcrum.
In April of this year, the team won the Y Combinator hackathon, and later in September received an award in the category «best UX» at the largest Ethereum conference in Osaka – DevCon. Currently, the Zerion team has 9 employees who work remotely from different countries: the USA, Russia, Lithuania and the UK. Startup founders: Evgeny Yurtaev, Alexey Bashlykov and Vadim Koleoshkin.
The attracted investments will go to the further development of the line of financial products, attracting new users, improving the online version of the product and launching mobile applications.
According to Evgeny Yurtaev, co-founder and CEO of Zerion, during 8 months of communication with investors, meetings were held with 50 funds in San Francisco, New York and Berlin. Since it was important for the project participants to find reliable partners who would share their vision of the potential of the decentralized finance market.
«In the 90s, many felt that the Internet would change the world and become a new global infrastructure. But in fact, only specialists used it, and for ordinary users it became available only with the advent of Mosaic and Netscape products. Now the situation is similar in the decentralized finance market. The segment has huge potential, but the industry needs fresh ideas and ambitious young developers who can create a convenient (for a wide variety of users) platform. I am sure that the team of Eugene, Vadim and Alexey with Zerion will make DeFi available to a wide audience», – noted by Placeholder managing partner Brad Burnham.
text: Ivan Malichenko, photo: Zerion