Alameda Research, the company behind the FTX exchange, has led a funding round that raised $50 million to create a DeFi ecosystem on Maps.me, an offline mapping application. The funding will enable a multi-currency wallet to be launched on the Maps.me platform, unlocking decentralized payments for the app’s 140 million users.
Popular offline mapping app receives $50 million in funding from major investors
A hugely popular offline mapping app Maps.me has just raised $50 million in funding to bring decentralized finance to its 140 million users. According to a press release shared with CryptoSlate, the funding round was led by Alameda Research, the company behind the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.
Genesis Capital, a Hong Kong-based investment firm, and CMS Holdings, a principal investment firm focused on the crypto industry, also participated in the round.
The funding will be used to introduce an embedded multi-currency wallet on the Maps.me mobile app, effectively unlocking the world of decentralized finance to tens of millions of new users. Maps.me said that the wallet will be able to provide access to turn-by-turn routing, travel guides, and hotel bookings, as well as process “a wide range of payment and investment tools in the Maps.me ecosystem.”
Introducing the world of decentralized finance to Maps.me users
The wallet embedded in the app will allow users to store value and earn yields of up to 8 percent. Users can also use the wallet to exchange funds, send money, and get cash back on transactions made through the app.
One of the biggest goals of Maps.me is to use the funding to combat the high fees seen on foreign exchanges. The company said that banks and third-party travel booking platforms also have extremely high commissions that make travel bookings a burden. The goal of the wallet, representatives from the company said, is to enable users to make direct bookings with near-zero fees.
Alex Grebnev, the co-founder of Maps.me, said that the company was looking forward to working with Alameda Research as the company has achieved significant scale in terms of its number of users.
Alameda Research noted that the main reason behind investing in Maps.me was the potential the platform has to bring about new users to the world of decentralized finance. Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of Alameda and FTX, said:
“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.”
Users of the FTX exchange can participate in the IEO of the MAPS token on the FTX platform. The token will be issued both on the Solana blockchain as an SPL token and on Ethereum as an ERC-20 token. The exchange limited the IEO to users whose accounts are KYC2 and ve either 1,000 FTT staked or a 30-day trading volume of at least $50,000.
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