Giddy Raises $6.9 Million
Draper-based Giddy, the self-custody smart wallet that connects crypto holders to DeFi earning opportunities, announced today that it has raised a $6.9 million investment in an oversubscribed round. Utah-based Fornite co-creator Geremy Mustard took part as a strategic investor in the round. Mustard has already contributed ideas on the gamification aspects of Giddy and how to make the product fun and interesting. The round also included previous investors Pelion Venture Partners, Peak Capital Partners, Clarke Capital and other strategic partners focused on building Web3. The investment brings Giddy’s total amount raised to more than $15 million, following an $8+ million funding round led by Pelion in 2022.
The new capital raised will be used to scale Giddy's product by acquiring new users, which will be facilitated by its recoverable self-custody smart wallet technology. Giddy plans to expand its team modestly but instead work mostly with the team it already has in place.
The recent collapse of FTX and other centralized platforms has resulted in a concerted push towards the self-custody of digital assets. Crypto users understand now, more than ever, that there are serious risks with a third-party holding their tokens for them. Crypto, at its core, is about taking back control of your finances and embracing financial freedom, but this cannot happen as long as the mainstream continues to rely on centralized, custodial, trust-based platforms.
With a typical self-custody seed phrase wallet, your private key is the one thing that ensures you can access your tokens from anywhere, so it must be kept secure and hidden. With Giddy’s smart wallet, the private key is split and individual shares are encrypted and stored across multiple locations controlled by the user. If one share is lost or compromised, the user’s private key will remain safe since multiple shares are required for recovery. And, with Giddy’s MPC technology, users can recover their wallet even if they lose a recovery share by following a few simple steps. Giddy’s solution implements elements of the Ethereum Foundation’s guidelines in the new ERC-4337 standard designed to make crypto wallets more user-friendly, despite having been in development for more than a year prior to the guideline’s release.
From its inception, Giddy has been fully noncustodial. "Trust has diminished a lot in this space because custodial crypto companies are not telling you what they're doing with money behind the scenes," said Ethan Parker when TechBuzz sat down with him and Travis Tidball, Giddy's CMO.
"Giddy is truly your key to your crypto. It's not custodial. We don't have control over your funds, we don't custody anything. We're just the tech to enable access what's out there already," said Ethan Parker.
In our conversation, Tidball shared his thoughts on the evolution of the financial system and how crypto is fundamentally different and unique, when it is managed correctly and true to its original design and vision.
"If you look back on history in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, bank failures were incredibly common, to the detriment of the financial institution and normal individuals. To a certain degree it was a result of a lack of regulation. There wasn't a good process in place for risk management in those banks. Often the competition drove them to take riskier behaviors than they should have during times of plenty. However, they were not prepared for lean times," explained Tidball.
"And I think you just saw that played out in the crypto space," he continued.
"People have been extra susceptible to it because we've been in a safe harbor environment. Everyone alive today has been involved in a financially regulated market. We understand that when they put money in a bank, it will be there later. It's trusted. It's insured. These things don’t exist in the crypto space."
Tidball says that Giddy wants to get back to the core ethos behind cryptocurrency: decentralized, trustless, meaning that users don't have to trust anything because all of it's being run by code, and permissionless, meaning that users don't have to stand behind a guardian or get approval or to able to ever access their funds. "Frankly, the cryptocurrency market largely got away from that because it's just really difficult. It takes technological skill, takes learning, takes all sorts of just different things to be able to actually operate your funds in that type of environment," said Tidwell.
"And so it had been convenient for people to move to custodians in crypto because it gave them that familiar feeling from Web2 and from traditional banking environments." he continued.
"They looked like really nice and responsible financial institutions, but they were taking risky bets and making risky moves. Once the market bottom fell out from under it, a lot of these people were caught in a really unfortunate situation."
"I'm proud to be part of Giddy because what we're doing is we're allowing that core ethos of crypto to thrive by fixing a lot of UI and technological problems so the everyday user can actually own their crypto, have it be totally decentralized, have it be totally trustless and permissionless, get all the benefits of Web3, but still feel like it's Web2 while they still own their assets," said Tidball.
Giddy offers users a single, easy-to-use mobile app, where they can buy, trade, send and earn crypto all in one place without requiring a custodian to give them access to their funds. DeFi becomes a seamless experience with Giddy’s one-tap staking feature, opening the door to a world of earning opportunities. Giddy’s first-to-market Autogas feature saves users the time and hassle of swapping tokens.
“From day one, our mission has been to provide fast, safe, and easy access to DeFi for everyone, regardless of their technical skill," says Eric Parker, Giddy's CEO, pictured above. "We believe blockchain technology will play a major role in democratizing access to wealth-building and economic freedom for everyone. We’re thrilled to be leading the effort in making this accessible for the mainstream, and are grateful to our investors and supporters in helping us bring this vision to life."
With its recoverable private key, fiat onramps and offramps, and single-swipe staking for multiple protocols, Giddy has set out to make crypto and DeFi safe and accessible.
Giddy's mission is to make decentralized finance accessible to all through one one easy-to-use mobile app. Founded in 2021 by entrepreneurs Eric, pictured above, and Ethan Parker, pictured right, and now employing 20 people. Giddy was part of the Utah Legislature’s Blockchain and Digital Innovation Task Force that was announced in Utah's 2022 legislative session and was formed over the past year. This team worked together to create DAO legislation, HB 357, that passed in Utah's 2023 legislative session and was signed earlier this month by Governor Spencer Cox. Giddy's CFO, Dave Lemke, attended the signing ceremony at the Thomas S. Monson Center on April 12, 2023.