Maple Finance launches direct lending arm Maple Direct

DeFi lending protocol Maple Finance is launching a new direct lending arm called Maple Direct.

The debut marks the emergence of a new DeFi lender after the bankruptcies of crypto lending giants Celsius and BlockFi last year. Maple Direct will focus on offering bespoke, or project-tailored, deals to web3 native entities with outside capital from Institutional Allocators. The first lending product is set to begin in July, and the company mandates all of its lenders to pass know-your-customer checks, the company said in a statement.

“Maple Direct is the first Web3 lending business since the fall of CeFi lenders such as BlockFi and Genesis,” the company said in a statement. “These platforms had lent $55 billion but have since exited the space, leaving Web3 businesses without a reliable debt capital source.”

Maple Finance expertise

Traditional debt-capital providers don’t have the necessary focus or expertise to underwrite the sector, the company added.

“Maple is launching this new business division to directly address the lack of direct lending offerings in the crypto market,” Maple Finance CEO Sid Powell told The Block. “Web3 businesses, which are touted to contribute trillions to the global economy, currently don’t have a reliable debt capital source. The establishment of a sophisticated debt market is essential to facilitate the evolution and economic growth of the space.”

Maple Finance version 2.0 released last December after one of its clients, Orthogonal Trading, defaulted on a $36 million loan. The firm has over $43.6 million in deposited assets and over $2 million in total issued loans, according to the firm’s website.

Celsius filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, 2022, with estimated liabilities to be upwards of $10 billion. BlockFi filed for bankruptcy protection four months later in November with a similar amount of estimated liabilities.

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