ZKX raises $4.5m in Seed Round

ZKX — Trade Perpetual Swaps like never before

After building in stealth mode, we are pleased to announce that ZKX has raised a seed funding round to solve current challenges in the DeFi market and accelerate the growth of ZKX.

ZKX, the first permissionless derivatives trading protocol built on StarkNet, StarkWare’s L2 network that leverages ZK rollups, raised $4.5m with participation from investors including StarkWare, Alameda Research, Amber Group, Huobi, Crypto.com, Hashkey Capital, Orange DAO, Angel DAO, Dweb3, Caballeros Capital, Cluster Capital, and Gate.io.

In addition, notable individual investors, including Sandeep Nailwal, Co-Founder, Polygon, and Ashwin Ramachandran, General Partner, DragonFly Capital, also participated in the round.

Uri Koldony, Co-Founder and CEO of StarkWare, shared his views on ZKX:

“Our ongoing collaboration with ZKX has been a successful one, and we have developed a fruitful relationship. They have been pioneers of the StarkNet ecosystem, building, educating, and providing invaluable feedback to developers everywhere.”

To add to the announcement, Eduard Jubany, Founder at ZKX, also shared his views:

“We are determined to build an exchange that breaks down the barriers to using DeFi, and we’re doing that by building a protocol that enables trading derivatives of assets on StarkNet. Our goal is to expand the reach of ZKX across emerging markets, combining sound technology with a friendly user experience, and an ecosystem that enables users to have fair representation within a DAO. We are grateful to have the support of our investors, who understand and believe in our vision. This milestone is just the beginning of a breakthrough year for ZKX and our partners. We’re creating new fundamentals for ZKX and the DeFi community, raising the bar for everyone.”

The funding will go towards further development of ZKX’s core offerings, the ZKX open-source protocol, DAO funding, and the continued growth of the ZXK ecosystem.

Our team is creating new frameworks to solve critical challenges in the DeFi market, including over-reliance on oracles, difficulty in bootstrapping liquidity for new derivatives, and centralized listing mechanisms.

Why StarkNet?

We decided to build on top of StarkNet because it provided us with an environment where we could do some things that weren’t possible in other web3 environments — and it also provided us with a more curated community of developers within Starkware’s ecosystem. StarkWare’s credibility, consistency of delivery, and great track record with StarkEx solutions made them our top choice for a partner. Furthermore, we are aligned with their vision of creating tools for developers that will cater to a wider audience and expand the reach of web3 across the markets.

How ZKX’s Derivative Protocol is Solving Market Challenges?

ZKX is setting out to dispel the “decentralization illusion” that afflicts the present DeFi landscape by creating an ecosystem for derivatives anchored in decentralization. ZKX’s unique technology offers the following primary differentiators:

  1. Powered by DAOs: Enabling DAOs and projects to list derivatives markets for their tokens and offering trading incentives for the community.
  2. Liquid Governance: Allowing the separation of representation and token-holding in DAOs and fair representation for all stakeholders by providing Virtual Governance Shares (VGS) according to each stakeholder’s behavior in the protocol.
  3. Decentralized Order Book: Inclusive of a node network to help scale the derivatives exchange with a permissionless node client.
  4. L2 Scaling: ZKX trading interface powered by StarkNet, StarkWare’s ZK rollup, which provides low fees, instant settlements, fast withdrawals on the platform, and the support of the ever-growing StarkWare ecosystem.

ZKX Milestones so far:

  • Following the launch of ZKX on social media, we gained 18,000 members on our social media channels and 11,000 members on our discord community channels.
  • Received grants from StarkWare Industries in 2022, marking the beginning of a fruitful collaboration.
  • Partnered with Nethermind for a smart contract audit this July.
  • Launched StarkCon, a community-led conference for the StarkNet Community.

Our Team:

ZKX was founded in 2021 by Eduard Jubany Tur, Naman Sehgal, and Vitaly Yakovlev. Prior to founding ZKX, Eduard and Naman held leadership positions at SOSV, one of the world’s top VC firms with over $1.2 billion AUM. The 30-person ZKX team includes top talent from the likes of Flipkart, PayTM, and Byju’s, with decades of shared experience in venture building, scaling technology startups, and financial derivatives structuring in over eight countries.

What’s next?

We plan to release concepts around financial Innovation such as ABR, High Tide, and T-Swaps and gear up for Testnet this quarter. We’re also launching our Community Incentives Program and Partner Program this summer. Our mainnet is scheduled in Q4, and we plan to decentralize the node network next year.

About ZKX

ZKX is a permissionless protocol for derivatives built on StarkNet, with a decentralized order book and a unique way to offer complex financial instruments as swaps. The protocol is powered by a DAO and will provide an elevated trading experience with gamified leaderboards and unique liquid governance. ZKX’s mission is to democratize access to global yields through its offerings to anyone, anywhere.

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