NFT-backed Loan Protocol Unlockd Raises $4.4M Seed Funding

Unlocked provides cross-chain NFT liquidity and utility for gaming, metaverse, art and DeFi digital assets.
Image source: Unlockd

Quick take:

  • Unlockd was founded earlier this year.
  • The protocol will launch on the mainnet in October.
  • Unlockd will support more than 25 Ethereum-based NFTs in the first phase of launch.

Unlockd, a cross-chain protocol that allows users to use NFTs as collateral while keeping ownership utility, today announced that it has raised $4.4 million in seed funding, led by Blockchain Capital. Other investors that participated in the round included Sfermion, Spartan Group, Play Ventures, IDEO CoLab, Bitscale, Sanctor Capital, Eden Ventures, Caballeros Capital, Emfarsis, Crypto Plaza, and angel investors such as YGG founder Gabby Dizon.

The funds will be used for product development, cross-chain expansion, marketing, and engaging a tier 1 auditor to ensure the security of the protocol. 

Unlockd runs on a polled liquidity model, which allows users to continue using the utility of their NFTs while borrowing against them. After depositing their NFT in Unlockd’s custody contract, users can either instantly take a standard loan-to-value (LTV) or wait for their NFT to be crowd-valued and take 85% LTV or both. There is no due date to the loans as long as the user’s borrow limit is healthy.

Founded earlier this year by Jorge Schnura and Carlos Otermin, Unlockd allows users to borrow tokens by collateralizing a loan with an NFT. Besides being the co-founder & CEO of Unlockd, Schnura also holds the same role at digital assets investment firm, Turing Capital. Besides being Unlockd’s co-founder, Otermin is also currently CEO of e-commerce platform, Lazada Philippines.

The protocol already has a beta version on the testnet while it’s undergoing auditing. The UI for the testnet will be launched in September and on the mainnet in October. The first testnet deployment will allow users to borrow tokens by collateralizing a loan with an NFT.

Unlockd will support more than 25 Ethereum-based NFTs in the first phase of launch, and will expand with more collections and Polygon NFTs in the coming months. In Q3 this year, users will be able to provide multiple NFTs as collateral in a single transaction to get extra borrowing power. 

According to The Block, Unlockd will focus on supporting gaming guilds including Yield Guild Games (YGG), YGG SEA, BreederDAO, which are already investors in the project. Schnura believes that gaming guilds can use the protocol to provide liquidity while continuing to generate revenue with NFTs. Unlockd partnered with United Gamers DAO in June.

“The other use case with guilds is when they pre-buy assets from games that are not launched. Those assets are unproductive assets. They just buy them at a discount. The good thing with this is that you can now borrow against them so you get liquidity from those assets and now suddenly they do become productive assets,” he told The Block.

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