Australian institutional crypto lending platform Maple Finance is expanding its lending pools and adding staff as it targets US$2 billion in loan originations by the end of 2022.

Maple’s two lending pools will expand later today by US$10 million each, adding to the US$14 million in total liquidity available for borrowing on the platform.

Since its launch in May, Maple’s platform has been used to provide US$44.8 million in 18 under-collateralised loans to crypto-native institutional borrowers, such as Melbourne-based Apollo Capital.

Anyone with the stablecoin USDC is able to earn 12 to 15 per cent annual returns by locking their coins in the pool for 180 days, Maple says. (Part of that return is paid in Maple tokens.)

Previous, smaller increases in its lending pool were filled within minutes, but Maple expects this one will take longer to pool.

The platform’s two lending pools are managed by Amsterdam-based Maven 11 Capital and US-based Orthogonal Trading.

Founded by NAB executive Sidney Powell, Maple is also expanding its team with three positions being advertised.

Last month Calfornia-based Daniel Kim, a former executive with crypto firms SFOX, Gemini and itBit, joined the team as head of capital markets.


MPL price action

The MPL token that governs the Maple platform has been pretty stable this month at around US$6, giving Maple a market cap of just US$13.8 million, and making it the No. 788 crypto.

Half a million of the ERC-20 (Ethereum) tokens were sold on Balancer in late April and May for US$5 apiece, while 2.6 million sold in a seed round last year for 50c each.

The tokens soared to more than US$20 mark for a few weeks after launch on April 30, but crashed along with the rest of the crypto market in mid-May.