The startup formerly known as Melonport is homing in on decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) for its latest act.

Avantgarde Finance has raised $5.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Blockchange Ventures. Investments also came from Placeholder VC, Jump Capital, Acrew Ventures and others.

“The funding is going directly towards growing the team size,” Avantgarde CEO Mona El Isa told CoinDesk, with the goal to extend the company’s user base of asset managers, treasury managers, dapp developers and DAOs.

The platform is built on Enzyme, an Ethereum-based liquidity aggregation protocol from the same team, and represents the latest “picks-and-shovels” play for the surging world of DAOs. Think of DAOs as group chats with a shared “checking account” for Web3 investments.

“We believe an entirely new class of investors is emerging, including DAOs, one-person funds and coordinated investing by the masses,” said Ken Seiff, managing partner of Blockchange Ventures. “Much of this will likely occur on the blockchain and with digital assets.”

Read more: DAOs May Be the Future of Work, but Don’t Bet on Them Being the Next Big Asset Class

El Isa, who served as a vice president at Goldman Sachs for over seven years, started her entrepreneurial career with Melonport, an Ethereum-based hedge fund platform founded in 2016.

Melonport was a key steward of the Melon Protocol, which rebranded to Enzyme in late 2020.

Enzyme ranks 42nd in terms of total value locked (TVL), according to DeFi Pulse, with a relatively meager $122 million in assets committed to the platform.



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