Brine Fi raises $16.5M in funding at a $100M valuation; launches top-ranking decentralized exchange
The Centralized Exchanges (CEXs) that trade cryptocurrencies have faced increased scrutiny following the fallout of FTX. As a result, there has been a notable uptick in interest among traders who are now turning to Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) in search of additional safeguards for their portfolios.
However, the DEXs are not without their own challenges. These DEXs make it difficult for users to execute trades and manage profitability, while their trading engines often struggle to maintain pace, resulting in delayed order executions and undesirable price slippage. It’s against this backdrop that one blockchain-powered fintech startup is on a mission to address these challenges.
Enter Brine Fi, the world’s leading decentralized exchange for institutions and high-frequency traders that enable traders to execute orders in mere milliseconds, all while upholding a steadfast non-custodial approach. This exceptional capability has propelled Brine Fi into the forefront, attracting some of the world’s largest hedge funds, exchanges, and high-frequency traders. By facilitating diversification of asset allocations and effectively mitigating counterparty risks, Brine Fi has solidified its position as a trusted partner in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency trading.
To further scale its platform, Brine Fi announced it has secured a $16.5 million Series A funding led by Pantera Capital, with participation from other high-profile investors including Elevation Capital, Starkware Ltd, Spartan Group, Goodwater Capital, Upsparks Ventures, Protofund Ventures, and angel investors.
The funding news comes just a few weeks after Brine Fi launched its orderbook platform which is already running monthly volumes of $300m, becoming the top-ranked DEX globally.
Founded by a trio of university friends, Shaaran Lakshminarayanan (CEO), Bhavesh Praveen, and Ritumbhara Bhatnagar, Brine Fi has risen to prominence as a premier decentralized exchange catering to institutional investors and high-frequency traders. The Brine Fi team boasts an impressive lineup of former executives hailing from reputable institutions such as CoinBase, PayPal, Venmo, Flipkart, Harvard, and MIT. Their collective mission centers on providing an unparalleled DEX experience for both traders and institutions.
Currently ranked among the top 10 decentralized exchanges globally in terms of trading volume, Brine Fi enjoys the backing of prominent investors, including Pantera Capital, Elevation Capital, Starkware Ltd, Spartan Group, Goodwater Capital, Upsparks Ventures, Protofund, and a roster of distinguished angel investors.
Brine Fi operates as an orderbook spot DEX and is committed to resolving the challenges encountered by cryptocurrency traders. A decentralized exchange allows users to engage in on-chain trading, enabling orders to be executed directly on the blockchain while affording traders full custody of their assets. Although considered a secure trading method, many traders opted for centralized exchanges (CEXs) due to issues such as higher trading fees on DEXs, price slippage, substantial transaction fees (ranging from $5 to $25 per transaction), liquidity constraints, the absence of an orderbook, transaction delays, and an inability to ensure privacy on orders, which can leave them vulnerable to frontrunning attacks. These challenges not only impact profit margins but also heighten uncertainty surrounding specific trades.
Brine Fi has also devised a solution to address a prevalent DEX issue known as frontrunning. In this scenario, when a user places a high-value order on a DEX, the order becomes public information, potentially allowing others to execute their orders first at more favorable prices, leading to the original order going unfulfilled. To combat this problem, Brine Fi leverages zkP (Zero Knowledge Proofs) technology, powered by StarkWare, which enables privacy on trading positions.
This enhancement facilitates the smooth execution of high-volume orders. Additionally, users can engage in gasless trading and pay a minimal trading fee starting at 0.05%. Furthermore, Brine Fi offers users the opportunity to claim up to 50% of their referrals’ trading fees as rebates and has introduced the Brine Fi Trading Leaderboard, where top traders can earn monthly rewards in USDC. Commenting on the funding, Lakshminarayanan said:
“Having built one of the largest crypto exchanges previously, we have had to diversify users’ assets constantly in multiple exchanges and venues to reduce asset loss risk due to troubled exchanges/parties, with Brine Fi we make it easy for institutions, centralized exchanges, HFT traders and retail users to reduce their counterparty risk and at the same time get the best price for their orders in the industry.”
Paul Veradittakit, Managing Partner at Pantera Capital said: “Brine tackles some of the most important challenges holding back institutional and mainstream user adoption in DeFi. There’s an urgent demand for a self-custodial execution layer that is faster, more reliable, user-friendly, and cost-effective.”
Vaas Bhaskar, Principal at Elevation Capital added: “We have seen Shaaran and team since Day One at Brine. The team brings together a unique blend of understanding both, complex technologies and evolving user needs. We are excited to continue to invest in Brine, in their mission of abstracting complexities of blockchain technology and making it more accessible to end users and institutions”