Ukrainian DeFi startup secures $3.5 million from international investors

In spite of the recent market downturn, investors have not lost their faith in the future of decentralized finance (DeFi). Illustrating this, Stroom, a Kyiv-based startup developing a liquid staking protocol, has just raised $3.5 million from international investors. 

Stroom’s protocol bridges the Bitcoin Lightning Network (LN) with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible blockchains. According to the startup, it “reduces the technical burden associated with depositing Bitcoin into the Lightning Network (LN) while simultaneously enabling users to yield-farm in EVM-compatible DeFi ecosystems.” 

“Our goal is to provide anyone with an easy way to earn Lightning routing fees and contribute to Bitcoin’s scalability,” Stroom’s CTO Slava Zhygulin stated.

Stroom develops DAO-like networks to govern users’ funds in a transparent and secure way,

In a media statement, Stroom’s founder and CEO Rostyslav Shvets pointed out LN’s “huge potential,” as witnessed by “the recent surge to integrate deposits and withdrawals via Lightning by major exchanges like Binance and Coinbase” — with which the startup “works closely.” 

After studying at the prestigious MIPT in Moscow, Shvets was a project manager at Lamoda in Kyiv; then a product manager and solution architect at Bitfury.

Stroom’s round of funding was led by the Berlin-based crypto investment firm Greenfield. Its Principal Jendrik Poloczek believes “there are numerous factors that underscore the significance of Bitcoin in the long run,” which motivates his firm to invest in the Bitcoin ecosystem. “The Lightning Network is well positioned to become the payment system of tomorrow, not only with Bitcoin, but with many other crypto assets transacting over the network,” he added in a statement.

California’s Mission Street — the venture arm of blockchain protocol developer Ankr — as well as Lemniscap, No Limit Holdings, Cogitent Ventures and some other funds and individuals, were also involved in the round. 

Nikita Shteringard, who heads Boosty Venture Studio, shared his views on Stroom’s prospects in an exchange with Russian-language news outlet Incrypted: “With Stroom, all the stars are aligned. The team has vast experience in the Lightning Network and DeFi domains and came up with an elegant solution to the most pressing problem in LN.”

“At Boosty, we are betting heavily on the development of the Bitcoin ecosystem, in which LN plays a critical role. We expect Stroom to become one of the largest routing hubs and play a significant role in massively attracting users to LN. This round of funding confirms that major market players see things in the same way,” Shteringard concluded. 

Topics: Blockchain, Corporate venturing, Finance, International, News, Startups, Venture/Private equity
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