Last week Zerion, a Californian decentralized finance (DeFi) startup with Russian and Ukrainian founders,announcedthe completion of a $8.2 million round. Led by Mosaic Ventures, the deal also involved Placeholder, Lightspeed, Blockchain.com Ventures and organizations — as well as a dozen of individual investors from the crypto community.
Zerion touts its investing app as “the simplest way to track and manage your entire DeFi portfolio from one place.” It facilitates access to a variety of new DeFi financial products and services, with “a powerful tech stack that aggregates across every major decentralized exchange.”
A non-custodial platform, Zerion does not request users to delegate their funds to the platform. “This agile approach mitigates centralization risk and has allowed Zerion to operate globally since inception,” the company says.
“Back in 2016, Alexey Bashlykov (CTO), Vadim Koleoshkin (COO) and I simply didn’t have easy access to investing opportunities because of where we were born,” Zerion’s Russian-born co-founder Evgeny Yurtaev wrote on the company’s blog. Bashlykov is also from Russia while Koleoshkin was born in Ukraine.
“Like countless others all over the world, crypto was our only option. We saw early on that an internet-scale financial revolution cannot happen without internet-scale infrastructure that is permissionless, borderless, programmable and composable,” Yurtaev recalls.
Unlocking DeFi for all types of investors
“DeFi is all of these things, and more,” the entrepreneur believes. However, “DeFi’s disruptive potential still remains largely untapped by mainstream audiences,” due to the lack of financial interoperability at a large scale and of accessibility or usability. That is what Zerion has set itself to achieve: “We’ve built an award-winning interface that unlocks the world of open finance for all investors, regardless of their crypto knowledge or experience,” Yurtaev wrote.
Claiming more than 200,000 monthly active users from 150 countries, Zerion says it “processed over $600 million in transaction volume year-to-date.” On average, $5 million is traded via Zerion every day with a median trade size of $1,000. “The average investor opens the Zerion app 9 times a day and we’ve seen $110 million traded on mobile since launch,” says the company, which “built the first DeFi-native app on Android and iOS.”
The next phase of Zerion’s development includes the scaling of its infrastructure, with the aim to meet the demand of a million monthly active users and beyond. Multichain support, including Ethereum-compatible blockchains, are also on the roadmap.
The company also aims to fine-tune its user experience even for non-crypto natives: “This includes better onboarding, fiat onramps and offramps, and relevant learning opportunities.”
Since its inception, the company has raised $10.2 million in total, according to CrunchBase. A previous $2 million seed round, led by Placeholder, took place in December 2019.