Venture capitalist money continues to pour into decentralized finance.
Today, DeFi lending protocol MetaLend announced it has closed a $5 million seed round led by Pantera Capital. Also participating in the round are Collab+Currency partner and Sky Mavis board member Stephen McKeon, Vietnamese blockchain gaming guild Ancient8, and angel investor and MetaStreet co-founder David Choi.
MetaLend says the $5 million will go to product development, bringing on new talent, and ramping up marketing efforts. The protocol is currently in closed beta and expects to launch during the second quarter of 2022.
Founded in December 2021 by Sudjeev Singh and Nikhil Bhardwaj, MetaLend focuses on providing financial services to the GameFi sector. GameFi is the niche of decentralized finance focused on play-to-earn blockchain games like Axie Infinity. Players earn cryptocurrency and rewards as they complete tasks and battle other players.
Moreover, MetaLend co-founder Sudjeev Singh told Decrypt the Ethereum-based protocol will enable users with gaming NFTs to put these assets to work as collateral for loans. Borrowers can continue playing and generating assets with their NFTs as they do. MetaLend says it works with gaming guilds to support their capital needs and grow their businesses and individual play-to-earn NFT owners looking to tap into the liquidity they need.
"MetaLend allows NFTs to be utilized and leveraged in a new way that brings value to the entire play-to-earn ecosystem," said Pantera Capital partner Paul Veradittakit in a statement.
Singh says MetaLend solves a big problem for the many wallets which are mainly used to manage play-to-earn NFTs.
"We realized that there was no financial tooling available for these asset owners and no bank that would accept these gaming assets as collateral for loans," he said.
"In the long term, we believe NFTs will represent everything from intellectual property to physical land ownership via NFTs. We see MetaLend becoming the bank for asset owners of the new digital economy," Singh said.