Ethena Labs secures $14 million in funding round led by Dragonfly and Arthur Hayes’ Maelstrom

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17th February 2024 – (New York) Ethena Labs, the developer behind the Ethereum-based stablecoin USDe, has successfully raised $14 million in a strategic funding round, according to an announcement made on Thursday. The round was co-led by Dragonfly and Maelstrom, the family office of Arthur Hayes, the founder of BitMEX.

Although Ethena received commitments exceeding $50 million for the funding round, the company decided to cap it at $14 million as it currently does not require additional capital, revealed Guy Young, the founder and CEO of Ethena Labs, in an interview with The Block. The funding round began in late December and concluded this week. Young further explained that the structure of the funding round involved a simple agreement for future equity with token warrants.

As a result of the funding round, Ethena’s valuation has reached $300 million, added Young.

Ethena also made headlines with the public launch of its USDe stablecoin, following a stealth launch in December that quickly amassed over $224 million in total value locked (TVL). With the potential to soon surpass $1 billion in TVL, USDe aims to become a formidable competitor to Tether, as stated by Arthur Hayes, who not only supported Ethena’s $6 million seed round last year through Maelstrom but also serves as the founding advisor for Ethena.

Ethena Labs drew inspiration from Hayes’ blog post titled “Dust on Crust” published last year, where he outlined his vision for a crypto-native, derivative-backed stablecoin that operates independently of the traditional financial banking system. The core concept behind Ethena’s development of USDe aligns with Hayes’ vision, and it signifies a step towards realising a stablecoin solution that is deeply integrated within the cryptocurrency ecosystem.