DeFi Trading Platform prePO Nabs $2.1M in Strategic Round

Blockworks Exclusive: DeFi protocol prePO said it wants to level the playing field among retail and institutional investors by “democratizing” pre-public investing


Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • The prePO platform will provide retail investors the same access as institutions and hedge funds get to speculate on pre-initial public offerings
  • Funding will go toward further development of the platform ahead of its expected launch in Q2, 2022

Decentralized protocol prePO said Wednesday it had closed a $2.1 million strategic funding round, led by Republic Capital and IOSG Ventures, ahead of its upcoming trading platform launch in Q2.

In a press release shared with Blockworks, prePO said it would use the funding to bolster its efforts to “democratize” pre-public investing. The fresh funding adds to the protocol’s previous $1.1 million seed money in July of 2021.

The platform, which is not yet live, seeks to provide exposure for retail investors to speculate on the valuation of pre-IPO companies or pre-token projects. The first version of the platform is expected to launch on Ethereum scaling solution Arbitrum shortly after its token launch in the coming months.

“We currently live in a society of financial exclusion,” the protocol states in its online documentation. “All investors miss out on opportunities due to there being limited places on a cap table.”

Participation in the round came via MEXC, AscendEX, GCR, Shima Capital, Caballeros Capital, Dexterity Capital, HoneyDAO, NeptuneDAO; founders from Gnosis, 1inch, Moonbeam, Zapper, Gelato also participated, among others.

“We’re incredibly grateful to have such an all-star group of backers,” prePO founder Xavier Ekkel said. “Their industry expertise, deep networks, funding, and long-term support will be invaluable in accelerating the growth of prePO.”

The protocol consists of three key actors, each with their own set of responsibilities including traders, liquidity providers and “pregens” — those that vote on changes to the protocol via DOA proposals.

By using prePO, retail investors would gain access to opportunities that venture capitalists, institutional investors, and private equity firms have “enjoyed exclusively for decades,” the protocol said in its release.

Investors will also be able to use the platform to hedge their exposure to pre-public assets in their portfolio, or for transparent and up-to-date market pricing, the protocol added.

“prePO’s breakthrough design ensures that adequate liquidity exists for speculation and that liquidity providers are risk-limited and rewarded meaningfully,” Ray Xiao, principal at IOSG Ventures, said.

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