Alameda Analysis doubles down on Maps.me, invests $40 million in Oxygen


How a lot are 140 million customers price? 

After a $50 million direct funding in journey app Maps.me earlier within the yr, Alameda Analysis has introduced at this time a $40 million funding in decentralized finance protocol Oxygen, a Solana-based lending platform that may plug into the app. 

Much like lending protocols similar to Aave and Compound, “Oxygen will first supply borrow-lending companies through swimming pools, wherein customers will deposit their property and leverage Serum’s on-chain infrastructure to lend based on 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 number 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 at present within the Alpha stage with the most important 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 refined and stylish threat administration software in DeFi – with a robust group, rising liquid ecosystem and enormous 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 accumulate Maps, the group has now invested into the app at a fee of over $.78 cents for every of Maps’ reported 140 million customers. 

Whereas many within the crypto group 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:

“At the moment, DeFi area has at most circa 1 million customers. How a lot would the Oxygen/Maps ecosystem be price if Maps.me’s 140 million registered customers began leveraging the protocol / platform?”

A part of the user-focused technique could be a results of Grebnev’s earlier efforts with Oxygen. In 2018, he launched a peer-to-peer lending service with the identical title, however demand and product-market match did not materialize. He lists plenty of potential causes:

“First, it was a enterprise mannequin that didn’t scale – non-custodial peer to see borrowing / lending of particular person property with no matching engine. Second, the market went down 80% from the time after we began working until 6 months later after we have been able to launch. Third, institutional demand which everyone was anticipating – didn’t come by means of. We determined to pause the challenge.”

Embedded (de)finance

With Maps.me and a brand new model of Oxygen trying to replicate prime brokerage companies, Grebnev is hoping for a distinct end result. He says that inside analysis signifies that 47% of present Maps.me customers “need monetary companies.” He factors to related user-jacking efforts which might be frequent amongst tradfi corporations. 

“Embedded finance is a giant theme. Take QuickBooks introducing financial institution accounts. Or Apple providing bank cards. Corporations leverage their userbases to supply related monetary companies,” 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 discount:

“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 thousands and thousands to get to 12 million registered customers.”

Oxygen’s OXY governance token is at present out there to pick presale individuals. The token may have an IEO on March eleventh, following which it will likely be out there on FTX, BitMax, and Serum DEX, per Grebnev.