Co-led by General Catalyst and LocalGlobe, the round saw participation from SIG, DeFi Alliance, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Vessel Capital, and others.
The team will use the fund to assist in the launching of the company’s flagship Protocol, an on-chain trading hub for RWAs. The trading hub will enable traders to gain price exposure to various asset classes previously unavailable on-chain.
The launch comes at a critical point in financial markets as alternative asset classes have gained rapid traction. Such traction is, in large part, an effect of the waning effectiveness of traditional diversification strategies after inflation- and interest rate-driven disruption to market dynamics.
Achieving future asset diversification
Ostium Labs aims to disrupt the market with a platform engineered from the ground up to support RWAs. It will offer exposure for traders and deliver a superior user experience for trading RWAs in a smooth and permissionless trading format similar to existing DeFi power users.
The initial seed funding will assist the company’s mainnet deployment of the Ostium Protocol through continued growth of the development team, meticulous economical design, and smart contract audits.
Currently, Ostium Labs plans to do a testnet launch in Q4, with a mainnet deployment at the start of the new year, post-audits.
Ostium’s history began when its founders, Kaledora Kiernan-Linn and Marco Antonio, met as new students at Harvard before working together at Bridgewater Associates. Both bonded over their shared experience in high-stakes environments that demanded peerless performance and excellence.
The pair became frustrated with the associated cost, friction, and attention split needed to manage both on- and off-chain trades across asset classes when they began their venture into trading. Kiernan-Linn and Antonio eventually aimed to facilitate seamless on-chain diversification so traders are unrestricted in trading their favoured assets.
Confidence in Ostium Labs
Both Ostium Labs and the investors included in the initial seed funding are adamant in their opinions about the former’s ability to facilitate alternative asset diversification strategies.
Marco Antonio, co-founder of Ostium, says, “We’re at a turning point in the broader market landscape. Traditional diversification strategies are no longer as effective as they used to be, and the appeal of alternative assets is growing. We see a pressing need for a purpose-built on-chain DEX to cater to the diversification needs of traders. Ostium aims to fill this void.”
Ash Arora, Partner at LocalGlobe, says, “Ostium’s brilliant team and their ambition to become the leading on-chain platform for democratising tangible asset investments resonates deeply with the foundational principles of Web3.”
“We’re thrilled about Ostium’s potential to cultivate access to a truly novel suite of on-chain assets and democratise consumer access to long-underserved asset classes,” adds Arora.