The leading offline mapping application Maps.me has conducted a $ 50 million seed funding round to integrate decentralized financial tools on its platform.
The funding round for “Maps.me 2.0” was led by Sam Bankman-Fried of Alameda Research and also included participation from crypto venture heavyweights CMS Holdings and Genesis Capital.
Maps.me 2.0 will be a broad application, with travel guides, hotel bookings and map services, in addition to exchange functions and a multi-currency crypto-asset wallet with annual yields of up to 8%.
Alex Grebnev, the co-founder of Maps.me 2.0, told Cointelegraph that users “can generate a return on their savings by lending them securely directly to borrowers.”
“We also plan to provide our users with the ability to trade a wide variety of assets that are not limited by geographic boundaries or trade size.”
Maps.me claims to be the first “mainstream app” to embrace DeFi, with the application having a user base of over 140 million after eight years of use. About 60 million users were active in 2020. Bankman-Fried said:
“By embedding and democratizing millions of users to access revenue-generating finance through an everyday app, Maps.me has the potential to really drive mainstream adoption of DeFi and bring a breakthrough technology to the masses.”
The announcement states that the platform plans to “break financial silos determined by nationality or net worth” through its DeFi integrations. Grebnev further explained:
“The industry is waiting for a catalyst for the mass adoption of DeFi tools and we are excited to make this happen by leveraging our active user base as a means to start a retail community for a new innovative DeFi platform on Maps .me.”
“Our long-term vision is to create an embedded platform that combines a wide variety of financial services that provide an easier way to invest, pay and travel. – with low rates, no hidden costs and strong loyalty incentives, ”he added.
Maps.me launched in 2012 under the old name MapsWithMe and was acquired by Mail.ru in 2014 for approximately $ 14 million. On November 2, 2020, Daegu Limited, a member of Grebnev’s Parity.com Group, purchased the app for nearly $ 20 million.
Grebnev told Cointelegraph that Parity acquired Maps.me with the goal of “building an ecosystem that integrated DeFi tools with a platform with a large user base.”