Filings show DeFi app Boku has bagged $6.5 million; founder says 'I’ve not raised'

Quick Take

  • Former Revolut employees have raised $6.5 million in a seed funding round for a new crypto venture called Boku, according to company filings. A co-founder denied it’s raising money.
  • The round was led by venture firms Lakestar and Connect Ventures.
  • Boku is a forthcoming mobile app that aims to connect its users with DeFi yields via a mobile app.

Former Revolut employees have raised £5.8 million ($6.5 million) for DeFi investment app Boku, according to recent filings. A co-founder denies this.

Venture firms Lakestar and Connect Ventures were the biggest investors in the round, according to filings last week to Companies House, the registrar of information on UK private companies. Augmentum Fintech, Eagle Investments and Nordstar Ventures also took part, according to the documents, which indicated that several current and former Revolut employees invested as angels.

Two people with knowledge of the matter confirmed several details of the fundraising. One of these said that Boku had initially looked to raise $10 million.

However, Phuc To, the former Revolut product head who is among Boku's co-founders, told The Block “your source is not correct. I’ve not raised any money recently.” When asked directly about the filings to Companies House, he stopped responding to messages. 

Lakestar declined to comment and Connect Ventures didn't respond to a request for comment. 

Boku is a “centralized, chain agonistic” yield and liquidity aggregator, according to a job description, which also names Revolut's former head of card payments Mikael Peydayesh and head of crypto trading Arthur Johanet as co-founders.

Peydayesh and Johanet didn't respond to requests for comment.

Taking a page out of Robinhood’s playbook, Boku will aim to offer commission-free trades across centralized and decentralized yields in a mobile application. It plans to allow users to access trading opportunities on par with those leveraged by top hedge funds, focusing on ease of use, Apple and Google pay integration and social-media-like features. According to a person with knowledge of the matter, Boku claims to offer a yield of up to 7% on customer deposits.

The Revolut to crypto founder pipeline

This latest fundraise follows a string of venture capital raises by Revolut employees turned web3 founders. Last month, former Revolut chief revenue officer Alan Chang raised $78 million for his web3 energy startup Tesseract, founded with fellow ex-Revoluter Charles Orr. This was followed by former employees of the neobank raising $3.5 million to build crypto investment app Solvo, in a round led by Index Ventures.

Revolut's former head of crypto, Soups Ranjan, also recently raised $52 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz for his fraud detection startup, Sardines — which serves customers such as FTX, Blockchain.com and Brave. Two weeks ago, The Block reported that the chief operating officer of Revolut’s EU banking service left the neobank to join Deblock, a non-custodian crypto fiat banking service backed by Headline and Hoxton Ventures.

This growing class of former Revolut employees diving into web3 comes as the neobank plows ahead with its digital asset push. Last month, it finally secured a place on the UK's Financial Conduct Authority register to operate as a cryptoasset firm.

With additional reporting by Yogita Khatri. 


© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.