The crypto market saw a significant uptick in price action across January, and now there are some signs that perhaps some confidence in the space is returning from venture capitalists and big-player investors.

One of our big four banking institutions, National Australia Bank (NAB), for instance last week dipped its toes a little further into the blockchain world with an investment into the London-based carbon-credit-trading network Carbonplace.

And that comes after the bigwig bank announced in January that it was jumping into the highly competitive stablecoin market with its AUD-asset-backed AUDN coin.

Over the course of last week (Feb 6-12), crypto/blockchain startups managed to secure around US$218 million in funding, according to DefiLlama data. And that’s roughly more than US$33 million that was secured in the week prior.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the more of those recent eye-catching money flows…


Carbonplace pulls in US$45 million from big banks

London-based carbon-credit transaction network Carbonplace managed to raised US$45 million last week in a strategic round of seed-funding investment from nine international banks, which reportedly account for nearly US$9 trillion in total assets.

Along with NAB, other leading banking institutions taking part in the raise included NatWest, Standard Chartered, UBS, BBVA and BNP Paribas.

According to a press release, the startup aims to use the funding to further its primary aim – connecting buyers and sellers to carbon credits by integrating with their banks.

“With Carbonplace, we are transforming the way that carbon credits are bought, distributed, held and retired,” CEO Scott Eaton said in a statement. “I am excited to take this company to the next level of its evolution, and to help unlock its massive potential to drive significant economic and social value by opening the carbon markets up to the world.”


SALT secures US$64m in Series A

Centralised crypto-lending platforms didn’t have the best of times in 2022 amid the Terra LUNA and FTX implosions. In fact, that’s an understatement. With Celsius, Voyager Digital, BlockFi and Genesis all filing for bankruptcy at various stages over the past seven or eight months, this has been a sector of crypto to avoid in recent times, even with a barge pole.

However, that hasn’t stopped SALT Lending – actually one of the first in the business – from closing an eye-opening US$64.4 million Series A financing round. And that was reportedly secured from a share sale to accredited investors.

SALT will apparently be putting the capital toward new products and its growth strategy.

Meanwhile, the fundraise comes less than three months after the firm had plans in place to be acquired by a company called Bnk to the Future. Plans which fell through amid the, er, saltiness in the market given the FTX scandal and contagion.


Other funding notables from last week

Rounding out a few more recent eye-catching raises, we have:

Coincover, which aims to provide protection and insurance for digital assets, has secured US$30 million in funding in a round led by Foundation Capital, with participation from CMT digital. The capital will be put towards hiring more staff, bringing in new partnerships and shipping product updates.

Elementus, a data-intelligence firm with a mission to make blockchain tech more accessible, has landed US$10 million in a round led by ParaFi Capital, gaining a US$160 million valuation.

SPACE ID, a startup focused on building a “decentralised identity protocol” has raised US$10 million in a strategic funding round for developing the network, hiring and new products. The round was led by Polychain Capital and dao5.

Dymension, a Cosmos-based modular blockchain closed a US$6.7 million seed round led by Big Brain Holdings and Stratos.

C3, a self-custody-promoting crypto exchange secured US$6m in funding led by VC firm Two Sigma Ventures.

Vault, a Web3 digital music collectibles (DMC) platform has pulled in US$4m in a series A, bringing its valuation to US$42m. The company will reportedly use the funds to scale its DMC format and fast-track the launch of its protocol.