When investor Yida Gao (Forbes 30 Under 30) founded Shima Capital in 2021 to build and grow blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Web3 companies, he hoped for and expected superhero efforts from each and every one of his founders and their respective teams of developers, engineers, and marketers.
Little did he know he’d be working with an actual superhero less than a year later.
Actually, while it remains to be seen whether Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot possesses any real life superpowers, she is perhaps best known for playing the empowering titular role of Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ most famous female superhero, also known as Diana Prince.
Back in March 2022, the Death on the Nile actress joined a funding round for crypto darling AdaSwap, the very first decentralized exchange (DEX) on the popular Cardano blockchain. The $2.6MM seed round was led by Yida Gao and the firm he founded, Shima Capital, who was joined by A-lister Gadot, producer Jaron Varsano, and other notable angel investors.
No stranger to making big time moves when it comes to her career, Gal Gadot and producing partner Jaron Varsano, who is also the actress’s husband, made a joint statement in which they said of the announcement of the funding, “This is an exciting investment opportunity for us in the crypto space.”
Because she’s not generally known as a blockchain enthusiast, at least not yet, some people may be surprised to learn that AdaSwap is not even the first Web3 investment made by the Hollywood star. The “Ralph Breaks the Internet” actress was part of a massive $87 million raise for crypto payments infrastructure firm MoonPay, along with such fellow celebrities as actor and power-investor Ashton Kutcher, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steve Aoki, Matthew McConaughey, Justin Bieber, and several more. Gadot’s exact financial contribution to the project is currently unknown.
Not yet done with investments, Gadot and her business partner/husband announced that they were investing in edtech (educational technology) startup Safe School, a company founded by a former journalist, and just happens to be operating in Gal Gadot’s home country of Israel. Safe School is a content streaming platform primarily for schools and municipalities that creates individualized educational plans to counter and reduce bullying and cyberbullying. To date, the Israeli platform says it has onboarded almost 600 schools. Once again, individual contributors remain unknown.
Not to be outdone, it’s been an eventful year or two for veteran investor Yida Gao as well, and there’s still a third left to go in 2022. To date, his venture capital firm Shima Capital has invested in over 150 projects and companies, each of which are fixing to make waves in exciting Web3 verticals such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), infrastructure, analytics, gaming, and metaverse.
Shima Capital’s inaugural Fund I, or just Fund, just launched on August 17 after collectively raising $200 million. The Fund received significant support from notable investors including Dragonfly Capital, Bill Ackman, Animoca, OKex, Mirana Ventures, Republic, and Andrew Yang, among others.
AdaSwap is a decentralized exchange for the Cardano ecosystem utilizing Milkomeda, the 1st layer 2 scaling solution for Cardano. Traders will be able to exchange Cardano native assets using the AdaSwap solution securely. The team is on a mission to cultivate Cardano DeFi by bringing new users and liquidity from other blockchains through their top-notch DEX & NFT Marketplace.
On June 29th, AdasWap launched its testnet, which aims to detect bugs and get info on the reliability, scalability opportunities, and user experience of the AdaSwap DEX. The release has been a real success!
During the last few weeks:
- Over 10,000 active users have joined the testnet
- Over 57,000 transactions of adding tokens to the pools have been conducted
- Over 82,000 swaps have been processed on the platform
- 140,000 transactions in total have been conducted within the system
As an ultimate goal, AdaSwap’s DEX plans to bring more transparent liquidity to the Cardano ecosystem and make it more incentivized and gamified, encouraging voting, swapping, liquidity providing, and more.
AdaSwap has been supported by Shima Capital’s General partner Yida Gao, Shima has provided a multitude of resources to AdaSwap including hiring needs and support for marketing and fundraising. Through this close connection, AdaSwap has been able to become a major player in the Cardano Ecosystem. Other venture capital firms that invested besides Shima Capital include iAngels, Pluto Digital, GBV Capital, Stardust Capital, Efficient Frontier, Finova Capital, Banter Capital and Coti.
The Next Phase of AdaSwap will be to complete the Audit of their DEX code followed by a launch onto Mainnet. AdaSwap is run by a team of crypto veterans based out of Tel Aviv Israel that has been able to create a lot of innovation for the DEX through a flexible fee structure based on the user’s tier and an automated airdrop system that will enrich users portfolios with randomized tokens and give them greater exposure to DeFi on Cardano.
As of today, it is unclear whether or not Gal Gadot will play a personal, hands-on role in advising or helping out AdaSwap in its production and subsequent launch.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Gadot made headlines when she rounded up dozens of celebrity friends to perform a Zoom version of John Lennon’s classic song, “Imagine.” While her intentions for the performance were pure, the video was not as well received as one would imagine given the pure star power involved.
We jest; but now, more than two years removed her most panned performance, Yida Gao, Shima Capital, and the entire team behind AdaSwap are happy to imagine a world where there is a Gal Gadot front and center of their launch.
Until that day comes, everyone is just happy to have her as part of the team. Even as a silent, distant member of the team.
This article is sponsored content. No endorsement by The Times of Israel of advertiser products or services, real or implied, is intended. The Times of Israel editorial team did not contribute to this article.