Yep, it’s a dumpy end to the week in the markets (to say the least), and many analysts are predicting lower moves still. But it doesn’t change the fact there’s been plenty of capital flowing into the cryptoverse just lately.

Let’s follow the money (and tokens) and take a look at some of the standout crypto-funding news from the past seven days or so…

 

Andreessen Horowitz plans $4.5 billion crypto raise

Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, is one of the most prominent venture capital firms focusing on the crypto space, and has been diving heavily into the play-to-earn gaming, metaverse and non-fungible token (NFT) sectors in particular over the past 12 months.

As reported by the Financial Times yesterday, the company has revealed to its investors it intends to raise US$3.5 billion for a new crypto venture fund, which would be the biggest seen in the industry so far.

a16z also aims to find a further US$1 billion down the back of a couch, which it plans to use for seed investments in digital assets.

In June last year, the VC giant had little trouble raising US$2.2 billion for its Crypto Fund III, which was the industry’s largest at the time, until being surpassed by the US$2.5 billion raised by Paradigm in November.

 

FTX focuses on startups with new $2 billion fund

FTX, one of the crypto industry’s biggest exchanges and a major sponsor of Blockchain Australia’s March conference Blockchain Week, has set up a new US$2 billion fund.

Titled FTX Ventures, the fund will invest in crypto-industry startups and is being led by new recruit Amy Wu, who has a strong gaming-sector focus.

 

Tom Brady’s NFT platform raises $170 million

Autograph, an NFT marketplace platform, revealed midweek it’s raised US$170 million in fresh capital from a Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz (they really are just about everywhere) and Kleiner Perkins.

Other contributors include former a16z VC Katie Haun, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and 01A.

The company, co-founded by the NFL star Tom Brady, reportedly plans to use the funds to scale its NFT technology and secure further partnerships to help expand its user base and push for further mainstream adoption of NFTs.

Additionally, Haun, a16z general partner Arianna Simpson and Kleiner Perkins partner Ilya Fushman will join Autograph’s board of directors, and a16z general partner Chris Dixon will act as an advisor.

 

Crypto.com, Secret, Animoca Brands, The Graph and more

• The Crypto.com exchange, which signed a significant sponsorship deal with the AFL and AFLW this week, has extended its venture capital branch to US$500 million, according to reports. With the new fund injection, the exchange will apparently focus on gaming, DeFi and cross-chain startups.

• The Secret Network (SCRT) has announced that US$400 million will be injected into the ecosystem of the privacy-preserving blockchain protocol, with its “Shockwave” growth initiative. It consists of a US$225 million “ecosystem fund” and a US$175 million “accelerator pool”. Read more here.

As reported by Stockhead this week, prominent gaming, metaverse and NFT company Animoca Brands has  announced it’s raised US$358,888,888 at a US$5 billion pre-money valuation. New York-based Liberty City Ventures led the raise with contributions from Soros Fund Management, 10T Holdings, C Ventures, Gobi Partners, Gemini Frontier Fund and more.

iTrust Capital, a platform that enables buying and selling crypto through individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in the US, has secured US$125 million in a Series A round, with a “post-money valuation” of over US$1.3 billion. The round was led by growth equity firm Left Lane Capital.

• Bahrain-based crypto exchange Rain Financial has raised US$110 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Paradigm and Kleiner Perkin. The Paradigm crypto fund was founded by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam and former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang.

• Blockchain indexing protocol The Graph (GRT), a leading Web3 project sometimes referred to as “the Google of blockchains”, has raised US$50 million in new funding led by Tiger Global.

Metaplex, a company that allows users to build their own Solana-based NFT marketplaces, has raised a US$46 million funding round led by Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto, with participation from Alameda Research, Solana Ventures and Animoca Brands.

• Early-stage VC firm Inflection has raised a new US$40.7 million “Mercury Fund” focused on crypto, Web3 and blockchain, which it refers to as the “open economy” in its newly released investment thesis. Participating are Accolade Partners, Evanston Capital, Galaxy Digital, DCG, and Marc Andreessen of a16z, among several others.

Carry1st, a Web3-focused social games publisher based in Africa, has raised US$20 million in Series A funding led by (yep, you guessed it) Andreessen Horowitz, Avenir and Google’s parent company Alphabet.

• Bangalore-based Stader Labs has raised US$12.5 million in a strategic round led by Three Arrows Capital that values the staking platform at up to US$450 million. Other investors included Blockchain.com, Accomplice, Australia-founded Digital Asset Capital Management, GoldenTree Asset Management and more.

• Paris-based Aleph.im, a cross-blockchain decentralised storage and computing network, has raised US$10 million in a new round this week led by Stratos Technologies. Other participants included Zeeprime, NOIA Capital, Theia and Bitfwd Capital.

• Indian gaming firm nCore Games, which is pivoting to the metaverse and NFT crypto-gaming narratives, has raised US$10 million in a new funding round led by Animoca Brands (they’re everywhere, too) and Galaxy Interactive, according to a TechCrunch report this week.