Alameda Research Leads $50M Seed Funding Round for an Embedded DeFi Ecosystem on Maps.me
Hong Kong, January 18, 2021 – A seed funding round led by Alameda Research has raised $50M million to create a decentralised finance (DeFi) ecosystem on Maps.me, the world’s leading offline mapping application. Genesis Trading and CMS Holdings also participated in the round.
The launch of an embedded multi-currency wallet on Maps.me will unlock DeFi tools for its 140 million users.
As well as providing access to turn-by-turn routing, travel guides, hotel bookings, and detailed mapping, this wallet will allow users to access a range of payment and investment tools in the Maps.me ecosystem, broadening access to finance without the need for intermediaries or banks.
The Maps.me wallet will enable users to store value and earn yields of up to 8%, exchange funds with no hidden fees, send money and spend in multiple currencies for cross-border travel, as well as get cashback on transactions through the app.
“By embedding and democratizing access to yield-earning finance to millions of users via an everyday app, Maps.me has the potential to really propel DeFi mainstream adoption and bring a groundbreaking technology to the masses,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder and CEO of Alameda Research.
“We’re excited to be working with our partners to create a DeFi ecosystem on a platform that has already achieved scale in terms of its number of users, and which will expand services that are closely linked to financial needs,” said Alex Grebnev, Co-Founder of Maps.Me.
Maps.me 2.0 aims to combat the high foreign exchange fees and commissions charged by banks and third-party travel booking platforms by enabling users to make direct travel bookings via its natively integrated wallet with near-zero fees.
Travel and local businesses will also benefit from Maps.me 2.0 as they will be able to reach the most relevant clients by demographics, location, and interest – as well as ensure they receive fair payments without third-party platforms taking large commission fees.
Maps.me is particularly popular with millennial Europeans, with over 58% of users from the continent and over 70% between the ages of 18-40. The average millennial spent $4,400 in 2019 for travel-related expenses.
Maps.me is the world’s leading offline mapping application. Over the last eight years, Maps.me has been trusted by 140M users, with over 60M people using Maps.me last year to navigate across 195 countries. This trusted travel companion provides turn-by-turn routing, travel guides, and detailed mapping.
The cornerstone of Maps.me 2.0 is MAPS token which will bind 140M users. MAPS is Maps.me’s utility and governance token. Holders of MAPS tokens become eligible for personalized rewards and services. Maps.me’s financial suite is built on the Solana blockchain.
About Alameda Research:
Alameda Research is a Hong Kong-based investment firm, quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm, and liquidity provider. Alameda Research manages over $100 million in digital assets and trades $600 million to $1.5 billion per day across thousands of products, making it one of the few full-service cryptocurrency trading firms in the world.