8 Hot DeFi Startups in Europe to Watch in 2023by Fintechnews Switzerland March 21, 2023
Despite slumping markets, the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry continued to grow last year, driven by sustained funding activity and increased user adoption.
In 2022, DeFi users growth averaged 44% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), according to a report by crypto fund HashKey Capital. In Q3 2022, the industry reached a milestone, surpassing the five million DeFi wallet threshold.
This growth came amid sustained support from investors in the cryptocurrency sector. In 2022, DeFi companies raised a total of US$2.71 billion in funding, almost triple the US$930 million raised in 2021 and over 41 times the US$65 million raised in 2020, data from crypto data aggregator CoinGecko show.
As interest in and usage of DeFi continue to grow, a number of young ventures are rising to fame on the back of strong customer growth and rising investors interest.
Today, we look at eight up-and-coming DeFi startups in Europe that are poised for growth in 2023.
Aave is a decentralized, non-custodial crypto lending platform that allows users to borrow, lend and earn interest on crypto assets without the need of middleman. Running on the Ethereum platform, Aave uses a system of smart contracts that enables assets to be managed by a distributed network of computers.
Founded in 2017, Aave is based in Switzerland. The company, formerly known as ETHLend, raised US$16.2 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017 and secured a US$25 million venture capital investment round in 2020.
Aave currently has more than US$4 billion in total value locked (TVL), making the fourth largest DeFi app, data from DeFi Lama show. Last year, it was named one of the world’s top 50 blockchain companies by Blockdata.
Based in the Netherlands, SingularityNET is a blockchain-based artificial intelligence (AI) project built on the Cardano network. The company is developing a decentralized marketplace for AI algorithms, allowing companies, organizations, and developers to buy, sell and cooperate on AI projects at scale.
SingularityNET was launched in 2017 and secured US$36 million in funding through an ICO held in the same year. Last year, it secured a US$25 million commitment from global investment group LDA Capital Limited to accelerate their product roadmap, the adoption of AI tools for DeFi, and scaling the SingularityNET ecosystem.
Curve Finance (Switzerland)
Founded in 2020 and based in Switzerland, Curve Finance provides an exchange liquidity pool on Ethereum. The company’s automated market maker (AMM) platform focuses on accommodating liquidity pools made up of similarly behaving assets like stablecoins, or wrapped crypto tokens such as wBTC and tBTC.
Curve Finance uses smart contracts to offer an efficient way to exchange stablecoins while maintaining low fees and low slippage, the company says.
Curve Finance experienced the highest daily trading volume this year, exceeding US$7 billion last week.
Zenith Chain (Lithuania)
Founded in 2021 and based in Lithuania, Zenith Chain is developing an environment built to usher in Web 3.0 integrations at scale. The Zenith blockchain network is an infrastructure where developers can launch applications with ease of deployment, delivery and maintenance. The technology natively enables low-cost transactions along with a digital identity and a robust testnet to enable a variety of use cases.
Zenith Chain also operates FuzionX, a comprehensive crypto and non-fungible token (NFT) trading platform.
Zenith Chain secured its cryptocurrency license to operate in Lithuania in July 2022. The licensing came on the back of a US$35 million Seed funding from GEM Capital.
Founded in 2017 in Estonia, 3Commas is a product ecosystem offering trading tools and automated strategies managed by machine learning-driven trading bots that use historical data. The company’s platform, which connects to more than 17 platforms, allows users to deploy automated trading bots and manage their portfolios from one spot. It claims over 220,000 registered users.
3Commas recently launched the DeCommas subsidiary to provide users with easier access to trade automation in DeFi.
3Commas has secured US$40 million in funding, its latest round being a US$37 million Series B closed in September 2022. The company said it would use the proceeds to advance bot technology, expand the trading ecosystem, and enhance developer tools.
Founded in 2017, Argent provides a decentralized, non-custodial wallet for Ethereum-based digital currencies and blockchain applications, allowing users to buy, hold, sell and store crypto tokens. The company also offers Argent Vault, a crypto storage solution for wallets with US$50K plus, and Argent X, a browser wallet for StarkNet.
Argent secured a US$40 million Series B round in April 2022 to accelerate its mission to build a Web 3.0 and DeFi super app. The company said it would use the proceeds for product development, recruitment and to expand into South America.
Argent is backed by some of Silicon Valley and Europe’s top investors, including Paradigm, Index Ventures, Creandum and firstminute capital.
Tesseract Investment (Finland)
Founded in 2017, Tesseract Investment is a regulated institutional digital asset lending company based in Finland, providing yield-generating solutions to institutional clients, such as cryptocurrency trading platforms and custodians across Europe and other emerging markets.
The company provides a white-label product, Earn API by Tesseract, which allows partners to provide their customers with interest-bearing products with a risk and return profile of their choosing.
Tesseract Investment has over 60 partners and clients worldwide, and claims more than US$1.4 billion in loan originations.
Tesseract Investment raised a US$25 million Series A in July 2021 to develop its offerings, hire new talent, develop new partnerships and boost innovation.
Founded in 2021 and based in Belgium, Credix provides a decentralized credit ecosystem that gives borrowers in emerging countries access to previously untapped capital.
The company enables fintech companies and other non-bank lenders to convert their receivables and real assets into investment capital. All financing happens on-chain using USDC and smart contracts, creating instant efficiencies, settlement and more transparency.
Credix claims it has grown 20-fold since its launch and originated more than US$23 million in active loans in a six month period.
The company secured a US$11.25 million Series A in November 2022, which it said it would use to accelerate the development of its platform, team growth, and integration with Web 3.0 projects. The round followed a US$2.5 million early-stage seed round raised in 2021.
Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik