Trust Machines backs bitcoin decentralized exchange Alex

Decentralized exchange startup Alex has raised $2.5 million to build out decentralized finance on Bitcoin’s rails.

The strategic round was backed by Trust Machines, Gossamer Capital and other investors, the company said in a release. Alex raised a $5.8 million seed round in 2021, which was led by White Star Capital. Other backers included Cultur3 and SeaX.

“There are more eyes watching Bitcoin right now than any other blockchain because of what is happening with Bitcoin NFTs and the excitement around Bitcoin’s use case potential,” Muneeb Ali, CEO and co-founder of Trust Machines, said. “The Alex team has been leading the movement towards Bitcoin DeFi, and I believe they are best positioned to capture the recent attention and introduce new users to the Bitcoin economy.”  

Female-founded team

The startup is co-founded by two former Wall Street quants, Chiente Hsu and Rachel Yu. Female-founded teams remain a rarity in the tech industry, let alone in crypto. Last year, U.S. startups with all-women teams received only 1.9% of the $238.3 billion in venture capital allocated, according to a report from TechCrunch and PitchBook data.

The funds from the raise will be used to continue building out decentralized finance within the bitcoin ecosystem and expand the user community, the company said.

“We are playing the long game, we are creating the building blocks so that when $360 trillion in global wealth starts becoming tokenized, we’ll be ready,” Hsu said.

Bitcoin settlement layer

The fundraising announcement comes as bitcoin broke past $26,000 with U.S. inflation data meeting expectations and amid concerns about contagion effects from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank within the centralized banking system.

“Bitcoin is singular in its decentralization and immutability; its performance history, network uptime, market cap and recognition as a store of value are unmatched,” the company said. “With over $0.5T in potential capital to deploy in Bitcoin DeFi apps, achieving mass adoption by building fairer, more secure, and more efficient financial services can be done through Bitcoin.”

In addition to the decentralized exchange, Alex also offers staking, yield farming and a launchpad service.

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