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DeFi futures and options exchange Zeta raises $8.5m

Source: Zeta Markets

Zeta Markets (“Zeta” or “the Platform”), a cutting-edge decentralized finance (DeFi) futures and options exchange built on Solana, today announced that it completed a $8.5M strategic funding round led by Jump Capital.

The round, conducted via private token sale, had participation from Race Capital, Electric Capital, DACM, Airtree Ventures, Amber Group, Wintermute, Sino Global Capital, Genesis Block Ventures, QCP Capital, Alameda Research, Solana Capital, MGNR, 3kVC, Orthogonal Trading, LedgerPrime, and SkyVision Capital. This raise comes off the back of Zeta Market’s grand prize win in the Solana Summer hackathon which featured over 13,000 participants worldwide.

Zeta Markets is a decentralized platform built on Solana that facilitates liquid, non-custodial, and under-collateralized derivatives trading. Zeta utilizes Solana’s censorship-resistant infrastructure to provide users with pricing updates, liquidations, the ability to execute trades and settle positions sub-second while paying less than $0.01 in gas fees.

Zeta’s natively under-collateralized nature allows traders to post a fraction of the full price of the future/option, while also performing cross-margining so that traders can account for all holdings whilst sharing profit and loss across all positions. The Platform also guarantees liquid trading across all markets thanks to a best-in-class options market maker (OMM) which prices and quotes all options and futures on-chain and in real-time.

Tristan Frizza, Core Contributor to Zeta Markets, commented on the news, “We've seen a Cambrian explosion in the Solana DeFi ecosystem since just the beginning of this year, with TVL accelerating over 100x to almost $15bn. The unparalleled performance of the underlying chain massively opens up the design space for innovative protocols. Zeta takes full advantage of this to bring the speed and deep liquidity of CeFi derivatives to DeFi, whilst remaining permissionless and fully composable.”

At launch, Zeta is set to offer a complete suite of derivatives and will launch with both options and futures for the popular cryptocurrencies. The Platform will also include a list of features traditionally found on institutional-grade centralized exchanges including, but not limited to; undercollateralized trading, portfolio cross-margin, sub-second mark-to-market updates, instant settlement, as well as an orderbook and matching engine powered by Serum.

The funds will be utilized to accelerate the development and business growth of Zeta Markets, initiate community grants to encourage composable project integrations as well as onboard key strategic and market making partners.

The future looks bright for Zeta as the bedrock for decentralized, non-custodial derivatives on-chain. Zeta has seen blazingly fast traction with protocol partners in Serum and Pyth, institutional uptake from crypto derivatives firms and DeFi native sources of demand in structured product and risk management protocols ahead of its mainnet launch. These partnerships will be instrumental in attracting widespread liquidity and adoption to the underlying exchange, with the goal of making derivatives a first-class citizen in DeFi markets.

Investor Quotes

Chris McCann, Partner at Race Capital

“In June 2021, crypto derivative volume surpassed the spot market for the first time doing $3.2 trillion in volume compared to spot markets which did $2.7 trillion according to CryptoCompare. I believe derivatives will continue to be the main driving force for DeFi and derivatives will be an order of magnitude times higher in trading volume vs. their DEX counterparts. We're super impressed with the entirety of Zeta's core contributors backgrounds, passion and drive in the DeFi space, and I’m excited to help Zeta become #1 in the DeFi derivatives space.”

Saurabh Sharma, Partner at Jump Capital

"DeFi options are ripe for innovation but have experienced low adoption so far due to high gas fees and low throughput ", said Saurabh Sharma, Partner and crypto lead at Jump Capital. "Leveraging Solana's high throughput and unique hybrid OMM-orderbook approach, Zeta is enabling a unique DeFi Options primitive which will be a game changer for this space."

Avichal Garg, Co-Founder & Partner at Electric Capital

“Zeta on Solana addresses the three key challenges holding back DeFi today -- poor capital efficiency, unintuitive product design and high gas fees. Zeta has built one of the few well-designed, efficient, and easy to use DeFi platforms that does not sacrifice capabilities or user control. We are excited to see how users embrace Zeta in the coming months and years.”

Anatoly Yakovenko, President of the Solana Foundation

"Building a Nasdaq natively on the blockchain is something I always wanted to see happen on Solana. Zeta, winners of the Solana hackathon, are making this a reality for both options & futures and pushing the limits of what's possible on-chain." 

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