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Hedge, a lending protocol on the Solana blockchain, has raised $3.7 million in a seed funding round led by Race Capital. Pantera Capital, Solana Ventures, ShimaCapital, and DCM also participated in the round. Civic CEO Vinny Lingham, Bling Capital’s Ben Ling, and SolBigBrain are among its angel investors.
Hedge is a DeFi platform that enables instant, interest-free loans in Hedge’s stablecoin, USH, on Solana. The site will allow users to borrow up to 90% loan-to-value ratio, meaning borrowers only need to deposit 10% of the total value desired in order to receive a loan. The platform also has staking pools and discounted swap pools. Hedge’s beta version is currently live on a devnet.
The seed funding will go toward hiring costs for new staff and finalizing its DeFi product for a Solana mainnet launch sometime in the next few months. On its website, the company is currently hiring for numerous roles, including a general posting for a “DeFi Degen” who has “diamond hands” and extensive knowledge of the DeFi space.
DeFi refers to blockchain-based protocols that allow people to swap assets, lend or borrow tokens, and perform other financial transactions without a financial intermediary.
Hedge CEO and co-founder Sebastian Grubb shared in a statement that only 20% of Solana coins are currently "locked" into DeFi, where they can serve as collateral or liquidity. He wants to change that.
“With Hedge we’re really trying to upgrade the whole Solana ecosystem. We want to help users unlock more liquidity and better leverage their assets without having to exit their positions,” Grubb said.
Race Capital’s Edith Yeung is bullish on Solana and its potential to grow a DeFi ecosystem.
“Hedge is offering the Solana community a way to tap into immediate liquidity while still ‘HODLing’ the underlying asset,” Yeung said.
While Solana already has a number of decentralized exchanges—including Soldex, Orca, and Raydium—the blockchain's total value locked (TVL) is about 5.8% of rival Ethereum’s massive DeFi ecosystem.