How a lot are 140 million customers value?
After a $50 million direct funding in journey app Maps.me earlier within the yr, Alameda Analysis has introduced at the moment a $40 million funding in decentralized finance protocol Oxygen, a Solana-based lending platform that can plug into the app.
Just like lending protocols comparable to Aave and Compound, “Oxygen will first provide borrow-lending providers by way of swimming pools, through which customers will deposit their belongings and leverage Serum’s on-chain infrastructure to lend in line with their desired phrases. Customers can even concurrently lend to generate yield whereas borrowing in opposition to their portfolios,” reads the announcement.
Whereas the specifics are laborious to come back by on official channels, Oxygen additionally boasts a bunch of deliberate options together with cross-chain integrations with Ethereum-native protocols like Aave and Yearn, choices writing, and absolutely decentralized governance. The protocol is presently within the Alpha stage with the biggest debt pool listed at $1,000.
Alameda Analysis was joined within the spherical by funding corporations MultiCoin Capital, Genesis Capital and CMS Holdings.
“Oxygen would be the most subtle and stylish danger administration instrument in DeFi – with a powerful crew, rising liquid ecosystem and huge potential person base we consider that is the following step in mass adoption,” mentioned Alameda Analysis CEO Sam Bankman-Fried of the acquisition.
Customers, customers, customers
The $40 million funding comes after a $50 million funding in Maps.me Alameda Analysis introduced in January. Mixed with the $20 million Oxygen CEO Alex Grebnev reportedly paid to amass Maps, the crew has now invested into the app at a charge of over $.78 cents for every of Maps’ reported 140 million customers.
Whereas many within the crypto neighborhood discovered the preliminary funding puzzling — it stays unclear if customers of a journey app need or want DeFi performance — Grebnev believes the person numbers are key to unlocking long-term worth:
“Presently, DeFi area has at most circa 1 million customers. How a lot would the Oxygen/Maps ecosystem be value if Maps.me’s 140 million registered customers began leveraging the protocol / platform?”
A part of the user-focused technique is likely to be a results of Grebnev’s earlier efforts with Oxygen. In 2018, he launched a peer-to-peer lending service with the identical identify, however demand and product-market match did not materialize. He lists various potential causes:
“First, it was a enterprise mannequin that didn’t scale – non-custodial peer to see borrowing / lending of particular person belongings with no matching engine. Second, the market went down 80% from the time once we began working until 6 months later once we have been able to launch. Third, institutional demand which everyone was anticipating – didn’t come by way of. We determined to pause the mission.”
With Maps.me and a brand new model of Oxygen trying to replicate prime brokerage providers, Grebnev is hoping for a unique final result. He says that inside analysis signifies that 47% of present Maps.me customers “need monetary providers.” He factors to comparable user-jacking efforts which might be widespread amongst tradfi corporations.
“Embedded finance is an enormous theme. Take QuickBooks introducing financial institution accounts. Or Apple providing bank cards. Corporations leverage their userbases to supply related monetary providers,” he mentioned.
What’s extra, within the context of tradfi user-acquisition, the combination $110 million Alameda Analysis and Grebnev have invested into the journey app may very well be a cut price:
“These transactions enabled us to construct an ecosystem that integrates DeFi instruments with a person base of greater than 100 million registered customers. It took PayPal 20 years and billions of USD to get to 300m customers. It took Revolut 5 years and a whole lot of hundreds of thousands to get to 12 million registered customers.”
Oxygen’s OXY governance token is presently obtainable to pick presale members. The token could have an IEO on March eleventh, following which it is going to be obtainable on FTX, BitMax, and Serum DEX, per Grebnev.