Jun 7, 2022 - Economy

Crypto money market raises $32M from Haun Ventures

Illustration of Ben Franklin peering out from behind a pile of crypto coins.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Euler, a money market, has sold $32 million of its governance token at a $375 million valuation to a group of investors led by Haun Ventures, providing the project's treasury with stablecoins to build a reliable pool of resources as the crypto market becomes more sedate.

Why it matters: Decentralized finance promises to lower financial friction for everyone, and Euler's focused on making it easy for people to borrow all kinds of tokens.

  • Prior booms in tech have shown that making life just a little easier for a lot of people can deliver big companies and a lot of value.

What they're saying: "I suppose the step change really is ultimately that existing money market protocols are essentially acting like gatekeepers," Michael Bentley, CEO of Euler XYZ, the company behind the Euler protocol, tells Axios.

What it does: Users can deposit blue-chip cryptocurrencies on Euler and borrow a wide array of tokens that run on Ethereum, all in the permissionless and open manner of blockchains.

  • It is designed so that anyone can list any token to be lent out on Euler.
  • For higher level functions, such as to serve as collateral for loans, a token has to get approval from holders of Euler's governance token. Only eight crypto assets have been approved so far.
  • "There's not too many things you can borrow against" on Euler or in the real world either, Bentley said. Serving as collateral is reserved for very high quality assets that the market understands well, like precious metals and property.

Haun Ventures founder Katie Haun, formerly both a prosecutor at DoJ and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said in a statement. “Euler takes a unique approach to addressing the risks associated with lending and borrowing crypto assets that stood out to us as exemplary in DeFi."

How it works: Investors bought EUL, the governance token for the Euler money market. This token allows them to vote on treasury expenditures, changes to the protocol, permissions for different tokens and also how much rewards in fresh tokens to give depositors of newly admitted tokens.

By the numbers: There is currently over $200 million committed to Euler, according to DefiLlama. Funds committed to it have more than doubled this month.

  • The total supply of EULER tokens is 27,182,818. Of that, 24.75% have been designated for Euler XYZ staff and contractors.
  • Investors purchased 26.2% of the total supply. The tokens purchased by prior and new investors are under a time locking, unlocking continuously over 18 months, starting January 1, 2022.

The EUL token is not yet live.

In the weeds: Other investors included Variant, FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Jump Crypto, Uniswap Labs and others.

What we're watching: Euler is in the process of progressively decentralizing, gradually ceding control over the protocol from the non-profit foundation that runs it now to the Euler DAO, the community of everyone who holds EUL tokens.

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