UAE based Cypher Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in Web3, Blockchain, and crypto startups has invested in Bitcoin DeFi platform Velar.

Velar closed its seed funding round of $3.5 million from a range of notable Web3 investors. The round attracted participation from key ventures including Bitcoin Startup Lab, CMS Holdings, Black Edge Capital, GBV, Cypher Capital, Trust Machines SPV, Transform Capital, Maple Block and Samara Asset Group, among others.

Building on the unprecedented interest and growth in DeFi over the past few years that attracted over $100B in liquidity to the Ethereum network, Velar is deploying the world’s first perpetual decentralized exchange (PerpDEX) on Bitcoin.

Velar aims to unlock the $800 billion of dormant network liquidity to Bitcoin’s evolving DeFi landscape, and in doing so, offer BTC holders the same value proposition and yields that have been so successful in the Ethereum ecosystem.

The company is currently preparing for the mainnet launch of Dharma, the first ever Uniswap v2-inspired AMM built on popular Bitcoin Layer Stacks.

Velar intends to use the new capital to accelerate development of its PerpDEX Velar Artha. The platform will leverage Stacks to enable liquidity for DeFi dApps on Bitcoin, with Velar Artha due to launch in Q2 2024.

Despite initially launching on Stacks, Velar is a L2-agnostic protocol and will also integrate other leading Bitcoin L2s. Cem Özer, Co-Founder and CEO of Sovereign labs, and Alexei Zamyatin, Co-Founder of Build on Bitcoin (BoB), both prominent upcoming Bitcoin L2s have also participated in Velar’s funding round as angel investors.

“Velar’s successful funding round is a validation of our mission to make Proof-of-Work and Bitcoin the base layer of DeFi. Velar is set to redefine what’s possible, facilitating $800B worth of dormant liquidity to be used in DeFi; and we’re excited to invite the world to be a part of this groundbreaking journey,” said Mithil Thakore, Co-Founder and CEO of Velar.

“DeFi is the logical next step for Bitcoin. Introducing perps for Bitcoin and other assets that can be swapped in a decentralized way, and earn rewards will help unlock the $500B in untapped value on Bitcoin,” said Muneeb Ali, Co-Creator of Stacks. “This fundraise helps the team at Velar build a liquidity protocol that will be a major gateway for the usability being unlocked by sBTC on Bitcoin L2.”

Velar’s eventual product suite will include an AMM, project launchpad, and PerpDEX, with the latter enabling institutions to utilize their dormant BTC holdings as collateral in a non-custodial way. Velar launched its AMM testnet last May which saw over 165,000 testnet wallets created, a record for a Bitcoin-focused DeFi project.