BitMEX’s Arthur Hayes leads $14M investment in USDe

Ethena Labs, the creator behind the Ethereum-based stablecoin USDe, has raised $14 million in a strategic funding round.

The investment was co-led by Dragonfly and BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes’ family office, Maelstrom, which reflects confidence in the project’s future.

Despite receiving over $50 million in commitments, Ethena chose to limit the round to $14 million, citing no immediate need for additional funds, according to its founder and CEO Guy Young. The fundraising, which started in late December and wrapped up this week, was conducted via a simple agreement for future equity along with token warrants, bringing Ethena’s valuation to a robust $300 million.

Following a stealthy introduction last December, USDe has already garnered over $224 million in total value locked (TVL). With its rapid growth, Arthur Hayes, a key backer and the founding advisor of Ethena, predicts that USDe could soon hit $1 billion in TVL, positioning it as a competitor to the well-known stablecoin Tether.

The concept for USDe was inspired by Hayes’ “Dust on Crust” blog post, envisioning a stablecoin backed by crypto-native derivatives and operating outside the traditional banking system. USDe maintains its price stability through delta-neutral hedging, balancing long staked ether positions against short ether positions to achieve a dollar-denominated return profile. This approach allows users to use U.S. dollars, ETH, or liquid staking tokens as collateral to create USDe.

In addition to USDe, Ethena has introduced a dollar-denominated “Internet bond,” a savings instrument that generates value through the staked version of USDe (sUSDe). This product leverages staked ether yields and futures market basis to offer an impressive annualized yield ranging from 12-20% over the past two months.

Based in Lisbon, Portugal, and founded just last year, Ethena is now set to expand its team, planning to bring on quant engineers and business development executives, particularly focusing on growth in Asia.