A Sydney-based blockchain-powered fintech has hired a former eBay and Sendle executive as its general manager, as it nears launch later this month.
Apurva Chiranewala is one of several key appointments at Block Earner, a Synthetix-backed platform aimed at making the high yields of decentralised finance more accessible to everyday Australians.
The former head of shipping in Australia and New Zealand at eBay and the former chief development officer at logistics scale-up Sendle, Chiranewala is tasked with overseeing global operations, growth and strategic partnerships at Block Earner.
“My goal as general manager is to simplify and communicate the benefits of decentralised finance for consumers, taking this new technology on a path towards mass adoption,” he said.
“I have seen very few financial services companies that have the potential to positively impact human life quite like Block Earner.”
The company is a rare startup with “capability, vision and backing to shake up the financial industry in Australia, which is ripe for disruption,” Chiranewala added.
More ‘Easy DeFi’ platforms incoming
Block Earner, which raised $6.4 million in a seed round in December, seems a bit similar to Finder Earn, which yesterday got rid of its waitlist and opened to all adults in Australia.
But Block Earner’s yields says its yields will be even better than Finder Earn’s 4.01 per cent, with a 7.0 per cent fixed annual yield or variable returns of 2 to 18 per cent.
Block Earner will generate the returns using the stablecoin USDC and the DeFi lending and borrowing protocols Aave and Compound.
A similar Sydney start-up is Tiiik, which promises to offer 10 per cent per annum yield when it launches, generated by Terra Money and the stablecoin TerraUSD.
Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) co-founder Larry Diamond was among the investors in Tiiik’s $5.2 million seed round last month.
United States-based crypto lending platforms Blockfolio and Celsius also offer high yields, but it’s not simple to send them funds from Australia.
Back to Block Earner
Other key hires at Block Earner include former Tyro Payments and Capify Australia marketing head Colin Williamson as head of digital and growth; Tawanda Mangere as head of risk and compliance; and Baris Yilmaz as head of finance.
The company was co-founded by former Synthetix executives Jordan Momtazi and CEO Charlie Karaboga.
US VC firm Framework Ventures led its $6.4 million seed round, with participation from, Coinbase, DeFi Alliance and Longhash Ventures.
“Web3 is no longer simply a niche ecosystem — it’s the future of most things online and digital,” Karaboga said.
“What we have witnessed in Silicon Valley is now happening here in Australia, where a wealth of experienced talent from traditional industries are recognising the potential of blockchain, and as a result, moving into this space.”
“The powerful combination of traditional skillsets, forward-thinking and tech innovation will significantly help DeFi reach its full potential.”
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