In what’s become a recently familiar pattern, the crypto market has dipped on Monday, despite another week of significant capital moving into the space.

But let’s focus on the positive for the crypto industry – here’s where the big money’s been flowing over the past seven days or so…


NEAR bags US$350m from big VCs

High-speed, low-fee-dealing layer 1 blockchain project NEAR Protocol raised US$350 million early last week in a funding round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Republic Capital, Hashed, FTX Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, and others.

The new funding will help NEAR, which is designed to be super-fast and infinitely scalable, increase “the number of regional hubs in key community centres across the globe,” according to a company statement.

The platform previously raised a US$150 million investment round led by Three Arrows Capital, Alameda, and Jump in January. It also has backing from other big venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Pantera Capital, Electric Capital, Coinbase Ventures,, and Baidu Ventures.

Before this latest market dip, NEAR had been on something of a tear, rising about 30 per cent in 24 hours on the back of this funding news. As it stands, it’s still up roughly 20 per cent over the past fortnight.


HSBC banks further on metaverse adoption

After showing its hand with a Sandbox digital-land purchase in March, British multinational banking giant HSBC has now launched a dedicated metaverse fund for its wealthy clients.

Dubbed the Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio, the fund is managed by HSBC Asset Management, and will reportedly focus on metaverse infrastructure, as well as “computing, virtualisation, experience and discovery, and interface”.

“The strategy aims to capture growth opportunities arising globally from the development of the metaverse ecosystem over the next decade,” the bank said in a statement, adding that the “metaverse is expected to become the next iteration of the internet”.

Specifics on the fund are scarce at the moment. According to CoinDesk, though, it’s said to be based in London, still very much in development and will target investors in Hong Kong and Singapore.

According to a recent report released by the US-based global investment bank giant Citi, the metaverse economy could be worth about US$13 trillion by 2030.


HBAR’s metaverse and gaming-focused play

The HBAR foundation, a nonprofit organisation focused on the development of the Hedera Hashgraph ecosystem, has announced the launch of a new US$250 million metaverse fund.

The new funding aims to bring in large consumer brands and their users to Hedera Hashgraph’s metaverse ecosystem, as well entice more builders and programmers to the network.


Capital will reportedly be directed toward four main areas including gaming, sports, fashion and entertainment.

According to a statement, the fund is focused on building out an “advanced” digital world as well as furthering an ecosystem of supporting and complementing projects.


Binance.US, Pantera, Improbable, Motus Capital, Certik and more

• Binance.US, the American division of the global crypto-exchange giant Binance, has raised more than US$200 million in a funding round at a pre-money valuation of US$4.5 billion.


The round saw participation from VCs including RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck and Circle Ventures, among others.

• Pantera Capital, a crypto-focused Amercian VC firm with US$5.8 billion in assets under management, is raising another $US200 million for a new fund.

The Pantera Select Fund will focus on “more mature, revenue-generating companies” than Pantera’s other, early-stage crypto investments, according to an investment letter published last week.

• Improbable, a UK-based metaverse-tech firm, has announced a raise of US$150 million in funding to establish and develop M² (MSquared), a network of interoperable Web3 metaverses powered by its Morpheus technology.

The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from several “crypto native” companies including Mirana, DCG, CMT, SIG and Ethereal Ventures.

• Motus Capital, a new firm formed by former Citi execs, has launched a US$100 million crypto-focused fund to help enable clients to invest into digital assets.

As reported by Blockworks, the former co-heads of digital assets at Citi – Alex Kriete and Greg Girasol – announced the Motus Capital Management crypto fund in LinkedIn posts late last week.

• Certik, a prominent, New York-based blockchain-security firm, has announced the completion of an “oversubscribed” US$88 million Series B3 financing round.

The capital injection was led by Insight Partners, Tiger Global, and Advent International, with participation from Goldman Sachs and existing investors such as Sequoia and Lightspeed Venture Partners. It now brings CertiK’s valuation to US$2 billion.

• Lightning Labs, a leading developer of the Lightning Network Bitcoin blockchain layer, has raised US$70 million in its latest funding round, which focuses on the “Taproot”-powered “Taro” project.

So what’s that then? In a nutshell, it’s a protocol that aims to bring low-fee stablecoin and asset transfers to the Bitcoin Lightning Network. More infrastructure and utility for the Bitcoin blockchain, essentially.

• SeaX Ventures (Southeast Asia Exponential Ventures) has announced the close of its second fund focused on developing global startups throughout Southeast Asia. 

The US$60 million fund will be crypto and blockchain-focused and was led by limited-partner investments from PTT OR International Holdings (Singapore), Central Pattana PCL, Singha Ventures Corporation, Ramkhamhaeng Hospital, MC Group and T.K.S. Technologies, among others.

• Boba Network, an Ethereum Layer 2 scaling project that uses optimistic rollups, has raised US$45 million in Series A funding at a US$1.5 billion valuation.

The capital injection came from exchange bigwigs and Huobi, as well as BitMart, Kinetic Capital, Infinite Capital, Hack VC, Dreamers VC and M13 Ventures.

Incidentally, Dreamers VC is a firm that was co-founded by actor Will Smith. Cue rudimentary crypto-meme tweets…

• Coin Metrics, a Boston-based crypto-financial-intelligence firm, has announced a US$35 million Series C raise.

The financing was led by Acrew Capital and BNY Mellon, with participation from Cboe Global Markets, JAM FINTOP Blockchain, Mubadala Investment Company and Brevan Howard Digital.

Other big-name backers to have participated in previous funding rounds into the company include Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, Highland Capital Partners, Avon Ventures and Morningside Technology Ventures.


Other recent crypto-focused enterprises raising capital include…

• Chorus One, a company focused on the Proof-of-Stake ecosystem – US$30 million.

• Samson Mow’s JAN3 – $21 million.

• EToro, with a focus on NFT “blue chips” – US$20 million.

• Community Gaming esports platform – $US16 million.

• Polemos, a gaming guild/GameFi platform – US$14 million. (More on Stockhead, here.)

• LOVO, an AI-backed voice NFT project – US$6.5 million.

• Parallel Finance – US$5 million.