January 31, 2024 – Hong Kong, China
Ithaca Finance (‘Ithaca’), a composable option protocol, announced today a $2.5 million pre-seed funding round co-led by Cumberland and Wintermute Ventures.
Additional participants in the round include Room40 Ventures and Ghaf Capital Partners, as well as angel investors Andrew Keys, co-founder of DARMA Capital, Stan Miroshnik, managing partner of TenSquared Capital and Georgios Vlachos, co-founder of Axelar.
The protocol, live on Arbitrum testnet, is also announcing an invite-only mainnet launch prior to a full launch later this quarter.
Ithaca is building a non-custodial risk primitive that will allow billions in options volume to migrate on-chain while enabling an efficient outlet for trillions in latent options and structured payoff demand.
On-chain option volumes are significantly underperforming spot and perps’ onescrypto option penetration significantly undershooting that of all other asset classes.
The Ithaca Protocol is underpinned by a matching engine that decomposes option payoffs into fundamental building blocks, allows for atomic matching and conditional order logic and utilizes replication, portfolio dominance and collateral optimization principles.
It is designed to short-circuit liquidity bootstrapping, which will shorten the time to institutional-level scale in on-chain options markets, which is hampered by fragmentation across blockchains and low liquidity amid an absence of risk-sharing mechanics’ innovation.
Ithaca’s mission revolves around addressing these challenges by designing permissionless purpose-built infrastructure to aggregate cross-chain liquidity and enable optimal risk sharing across time and event horizons.
Powered by an auction-based, and therefore MEV-resistant, algorithmic market clearing framework, Ithaca will allow for instant deployment of composable options and structured product markets for any asset.
Users are invited to test Ithaca and make themselves eligible for the Ithaca Points Program.
The team behind Ithaca led by Dimitrios Kavvathaspreviously chief strategy officer at Amber Group, CIO at Harmony Advisors and partner at Goldman Sachs combines more than 120 years of experience in finance and crypto across firms such as Goldman Sachs, BAML, Deutsche Bank, BNP and BlueCrest as well as the Portuguese Debt Management Office and various crypto startups.
“We are truly grateful for our investors’ support and are looking forward to revolutionizing the digital asset options trading landscape with their guidance and partnership.”
Wintermute Ventures said,
“Ithaca’s options platform breaks down complex financial contracts into composable elements, making it easier to handle risk and resulting in a transparent trading experience for usersand it achieves this with a liquidity-enhancing matching algorithm.
We believe the team’s vision is a truly innovative approach to building composable options markets for any asset, and we’re excited to be part of this journey.”
“We’re excited to invest in Dimitrios and the rest of the Ithaca teamdomain experts with the right background to bring composable structured option products on-chain.”
About Ithaca Finance
Ithaca is a non-custodial, composable option protocol. Ithaca’s mission is to build permissionless cross-chain infrastructure, enabling optimal risk sharing across time and event horizons.
The protocol allows for instant deployment of ‘liquidity self-enhancing’ complete, composable option, structured product and lending markets on any underlying.
The Ithaca ecosystem will encompass an option trading protocol, an algorithmic market maker, a collateral optimization engine, cross-chain interoperability powered by Axelarand soon, a market-clearing consistent margin lending and liquidation mechanism, and decentralized protocol governance.
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