- Self-taught software developer Ryan Berkun has raised $ 6.8 million for DeFi startup Teller.
- Teller helps entrepreneurs borrow and lend through blockchain unsecured loans.
- Berkun sought an investor who could help him build relationships with traditional finance and cryptocurrencies.
Self-taught software developer Ryan Berkun dreamed of a startup that would help make decentralized finance products more mainstream. Still, questions such as how to raise money, how to build relationships with banks, and how to build infrastructure that regenerates in the head told insiders.
“These dilemmas have plunged me into the rabbit holes of various technologies,” Burkun said. “And slowly, but surely, I was fascinated by this idea that I could get rid of the gatekeeper, the people who hold the key today.”
It is his hope for a decentralized lending market that offers unsecured loans on the startups, tellers and blockchains he founded. Teller’s protocol eliminates the intermediaries of large banks and allows users to become lenders as well as borrowers, he said. Berkun said he wants to make entrepreneurial borrowing and lending easier.
In February, Teller secured $ 6.85 million led by blockchain capital, which looks like a series A round. According to Crunchbase, the founders did not comment on the funding stage, instead calling it a “strategic round,” following the $ 1 million seed round raised in July 2020.
In the latest round, Berkun wanted to focus on building relationships between traditional financial technology and the non-traditional crypto market. He especially wanted a major investor specializing in blockchain technology with a general understanding of FinTech.
So he contacted his direct network to see if anyone could introduce him to a venture capital partner or general partner. He then took a call with the VC within two weeks, increasing investor excitement and his enthusiasm for trading. “Investors speak,” he said. “I want to make sure that all these conversations are in a row.”
Once Blockchain Capital decided to lead the round, Teller was able to follow up with conversations with financial technology investors such as Franklin Templeton, Toyota Ventures and Upstart Network to get them involved in the round.
Then read the 11-slide pitch deck that Teller used to raise $ 6.85 million.