Monday Fund Day: Electric Capital, Terra and FTX lead our roundup with billion-dollar crypto funds
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While the crypto market remains on edge due to relentless macro/geopolitical forces, we’ve still seen another week or two of substantial VC raises and capital flow into Web3 companies.
Here’s where the BIG money’s been gathering since we last did this roundup a couple of weeks ago…
The past week’s most monumental funding story came from the Silicon Valley-based Electric Capital.
The Californian venture-capital firm raised a whopping US$1 billion for the launch of two funds: a US$400 million venture fund and a US$600 million token fund.
This raise pushes Electric into the big leagues of crypto capital, rivalling other major funds from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), which closed a US$2.2 billion crypto fund in June, and Paradigm, which launched a US$2.5 billion crypto fund in November.
A16z also recently revealed it has plans to raise US$3.5 billion for another crypto fund, plus an extra US$1 billion for seed investments in digital assets.
1/ @ElectricCapital has raised $1 billion in new capital, our largest fundraise yet.
The web3 economy built on top of the programmable money stack will be one of the defining disruptions of the 2020s.
Where are we going to invest $1 billion?https://t.co/9no7saqyQK
— Avichal – Electric⚡️Capital (@avichal) March 1, 2022
Electric has identified five key trends in the Web3 economy in which it is looking to invest its funds, and these are:
• DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations) – which the firm says will “empower global communities to allocate resources to initiatives large and small”.
• NFTs – which will “form the asset layer for Web3 and the bedrock for new types of financial instruments”.
• DeFi – which Electric believes will democratise finance globally.
• Decentralised infrastructure – enabling engineers to “build the next generation of applications without a centralised point of failure”.
• Accessible user experiences – for the acceleration of Web3 onboarding.
As reported by Stockhead, the Terra blockchain’s native token LUNA received a major boost just recently hours, thanks to a mega fundraise from crypto-focused VCs. And this figure also hit US$1 billion.
The non-profit organisation Luna Foundation Guard (aka LFG), reportedly managed to raise the capital investment – one of the industry’s largest ever – in a private sale of LUNA tokens.
LUNA NEWS UPDATE 🌕: Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) just completed their private token sale and managed to raise a staggering $1 billion to form a bitcoin reserve for UST stablecoin. pic.twitter.com/cd9LkIVKT4
— Investment KorKor (@investkorkor) February 23, 2022
Leading the raise were VC firms Jump Crypto and Three Arrows Capital, with Republic Capital, GSR, Tribe Capital, DeFiance Capital and others also participating.
The funding will reportedly be used to establish what Terra and LFG is calling a “Forex Reserve” denominated in Bitcoin.
Is that it for new billion-dollar crypto funds? Not quite. Global crypto exchange FTX has launched one called the FTX Future Fund, which will support ambitious projects that aim to “improve humanity’s long-term prospects”.
1/ We're thrilled to announce the FTX Foundation's Future Fund. We make grants and investments to ambitious projects to improve humanity's long-term prospects.
We plan to deploy >$100M this year, and potentially a lot more (in principle up to $1B).https://t.co/kIWdm48LZ4
— Future Fund (@ftxfuturefund) February 28, 2022
The project will deploy up to a billion dollars to projects focused on “safe development of artificial intelligence”, the reduction of biorisk dangers, as well as initiatives that champion effective altruism, economic growth and more.
• Amber Group, a Singapore-based crypto-finance startup, recently raised US$200 million in a Series B funding round, giving it a US$3 billion valuation.
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek led the investment into the fledgling trading platform, with participation from recognisable big VC players including Sequoia China, Pantera Capital, Tiger Global Management, Tru Arrow Partners, and Coinbase Ventures among others.
• Hack VC, a San Francisco-based VC firm, has debuted a US$200 million fund focused on financing early-stage crypto, Web3 and blockchain startups.
According to VC news outlet Finsmes, the fund is being co-led by managing partners Alex Pack and Ed Roman as well as receiving backing from Sequoia Capital, Fidelity, Digital Currency Group, and a16z’s Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, among others.
Hack VC, the #crypto venture capital firm behind the #hacksummit programming event, announced it is launching a new $200 million crypto seed fund that aims to invest in early-stage Web3 teams. https://t.co/8DWFEnK8Rw
— Bitcoin News (@BTCTN) February 28, 2022
• Lido, a DeFi staking platform built on Ethereum, has raised US$70 million from prominent VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
The funds will reportedly be used to further develop Lido’s staking solution and prepare for upgrades related to Ethereum’s transition from its proof-of-work structured blockchain to proof of stake.
Excited to share that @a16z has invested $70M in @LidoFinance, one of the easiest ways to stake ETH and other PoS assets, and we used Lido to stake a portion of our ETH holdings on the Beacon chain. More from @DarenMatsuoka & @_PorterSmith: https://t.co/vc2tzDJ3mS
— cdixon.eth (@cdixon) March 3, 2022
• VALR, a crypto exchange headquartered in South Africa, has announced it’s raised US$50 million in what’s being reported as Africa’s largest ever crypto funding round.
The Series B round, which helps value the company at US$240 million, was led by Pantera Capital with participation from Alameda Research, Cadenza, CMT Digital, Coinbase Ventures and others.
VALR, a cryptocurrency exchange based in South Africa, has raised USD 50M in what the company says is the largest funding round ever for an African crypto firm.
The funding values VALR at USD 240M, more than 10X its valuation in July 2020 when it raised USD3.4M in its Series A. pic.twitter.com/hnhks5E4Hf
— Mwango Capital (@MwangoCapital) March 3, 2022
• Subspace Labs, an “eco-friendly”, scalable layer-one blockchain that aims to serve as an infrastructure layer for Web3, has raised US$33 million in a financing round led by Pantera Capital. Also participating were Coinbase Ventures, Crypto.com, Alameda Research, ConsenSys Mesh among other venture firms.
Funding will reportedly go toward tripling the size of its protocol engineering team as well as expanding integrations between the Polkadot, Kusama and Ethereum ecosystems.
💥 Subspace Labs, developer of @NetworkSubspace announced the completion of $32.9M strategic funding round
💥 Subspace Network provides a decentralized and trust-minimized alternative to traditional cloud providers
— 🌐 𝐃𝐄𝐅𝐈 𝐍𝐄𝐖𝐒 🌐 (@Definews_Info) March 4, 2022
• Thetanuts Finance, a multi-chain DeFi firm, has raised US$18 million in seed funding led by Three Arrows Capital, Deribit, QCP Capital and Jump Crypto. The cash injection will be used to boost the development of Thetanut’s crypto derivatives ecosystem, according to a Medium article.
• ArDrive, a permanent file-storage project based on the Arweave blockchain, announced a US$17.2 million seed round late last week. The investment was led by the Arweave team, Blockchain Capital and Sino Global Capital, along with contributions from various other investors.
Say hello to @ar_io_network!
— 🐘🔗ArDrive.arweave.dev (@ardriveapp) March 2, 2022
• Praxis, a blockchain-based city-building business sponsored by Peter Thiel, has bagged US$15 million in Series A funding round led by Paradigm Capital, Alameda Research, Three Arrows Capital and Robot Ventures.
“We are actively engaging with landowners and governments, designing economic and political systems, architecting buildings and infrastructure and bringing together the people who will inhabit them,” Praxis said in a statement.
Money made from crypto has gone into art jpegs and artificially scarce 'metaverses'. We want to put it into beautifully-designed homes and urban environments, parks and regen. agriculture – and more. We reject scarcity. We are infinitely and definitely optimistic about life. https://t.co/ZigR1FKRpt
— Praxis (@PraxisSociety) March 3, 2022
• Rarify, an NFT infrastructure startup, has raised US$10 million in a Series A funding round from Pantera Capital at a valuation of $100 million. The firm intends to use the funds to grow its employee count and launch new products.
Another day, another raise.
Nonfungible token infrastructure startup Rarify has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Pantera Capital at a valuation of $100 million. https://t.co/aUU7z1hTEm
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) March 4, 2022