Unlockd, a protocol which allows users to borrow against non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has raised $4.4 million in a seed funding round led by Blockchain Capital, the company announced on Thursday.
Sfermion, Spartan Group and Play Ventures, were also among those that participated in the round. Unlockd said the funding will be used for product and development, cross-chain expansion, a tier 1 auditor to ensure protocol security, and marketing. It declined to share a valuation.
Founded earlier this year by esports club MAD Lions founder Jorge Schnura and Carlos Otermin, who has a background in consulting, e-commerce and managing a gaming guild, Unlockd’s pooled liquidity model allows NFT holders to borrow against their NFTs while still being able to use them.
The eight-strong team at Unlockd already has a beta version on a testnet and its protocol is undergoing auditing. It will launch the UI for the testnet in September and launch on the mainnet in October.
During the first phase of launch, the protocol will support more than 25 NFT collections based on Ethereum. It will later expand to include more collections and Polygon NFTs over the coming months.
Schnura told The Block that Unlockd will initially focus on supporting gaming guilds, several of which are already investors in the project, because he sees Unlockd as a way for them to use their NFTs for liquidity while continuing to generate revenue with them through things like gaming.
“The other use case with guilds is when they pre-buy assets from games that are not launched. Those assets are unproductive assets. They just buy them at a discount. The good thing with this is that you can now borrow against them so you get liquidity from those assets and now suddenly they do become productive assets,” he said.
Other investors included IDEO CoLab, Bitscale, Sanctor Capital, Eden Ventures, Caballeros Capital, Emfarsis, Crypto Plaza, Yield Guild Games (YGG), YGG SEA, BreederDAO, BlockchainSPACE and angel investors such as YGG founder Gabby Dizon.
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