Decentralized finance (DeFi) hub Nibiru Chain has closed an $8.5 million seed funding round at a $100 million valuation that was co-led by Tribe Capital, Republic Capital, NGC Ventures, and Original Capital. The capital will help build out the tech stack, team, and community.

“We’re going to use [the funding] to shorten the runway a bit. We’re already at around 12 months,” Nibiru co-founder Jonathan Changntold CoinDesk in an interview. “We can hire and help maintain the team. And we can also create more of an ecosystem fund to enable external people to build on top of us.”

Nibiru raised the funds over an extended period starting last July, meaning a portion of the capital was raised before the collapse of the centralized exchange FTX caused additional turbulence for the bear market. The startup plans to start raising for a Series A round later this year and is targeting a $200 million to $250 million valuation.

What Nibiru offers

DeFi has historically been dominated by crypto-savvy power users, while new traders have turned to the easier user experience offered by centralized exchanges. Nibiru – with a technology stack of smart contract applications driven by automation – wants to offer the user-friendliness of a centralized exchange without the off-chain settlements, discretionary custody of funds, or external liquidators. Nibiru products are similar to those of fractional reserve stablecoin Frax, decentralized exchange and automated market maker (AMM) Curve, and decentralized perpetual exchange GMX.

Nibiru’s initial solutions include the Nibi-Perps derivatives platform that supports leveraged trading on a wide range of Cosmos assets, the Nibi-Swap automated liquidity protocol for spot trading, and the Nibiru Oracle Module, where validator nodes act as oracles connecting blockchains to external data sources.

This summer, Nibiru plans to launch its fractional-algorithmic stablecoin, NUSDC, along with the testnet. NUSD will be collateralized by both USDC and NIBI, Nibiru’s native token that’s used for staking, utility, and governance.

Other participating investors in the round included HashKey Capital, SaxeCap, Beco Capital, Alves Ventures, VC3 DAO, CapitalX, Cerulean, Cogitent, Picks & Shovels, Lecca, Imperator, Helikon, Basis Set, Broadhaven, TokenMetrics, MeteorCap, Acacia Digital, and Cosmostation.