Monday Fund Day: The Graph and Silicon Valley’s Sequoia Capital lead our weekly crypto-funding wrap
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“Be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful.” It would appear it’s the perfect time for crypto fund managers to follow the second part of Warren Buffett’s advice.
With that in mind, and as the Crypto Fear & Greed Index tips further to the negative, let’s check out the biggest crypto-venture funding announcements from the past seven days or so…
Not counting Warren Buffett’s US$1 billion shift into NuBank, which some are calling an indirect Bitcoin-exposure play from the 91-year-old crypto sceptic, Sequoia Capital made easily the biggest crypto-funding move over the past week.
The influential Californian venture capital firm announced last Thursday it’s launching a fund of up to US$600 million in budget, which will focus entirely on investing in crypto tokens and other digital assets.
The move reportedly marks the first time the 50-year-old Silicon Valley firm has created a fund that’s laser-focused on one sector.
Hey Crypto Twitter, we're excited to announce another tool in @sequoia's toolkit:
We're launching a new crypto fund that will primarily focus on liquid tokens
This forces us to level-up our infrastructure so that we can move faster and go even deeper.https://t.co/piycJOzBM8
— Shaun Maguire 🇺🇦 (smc.eth) (@shaunmmaguire) February 17, 2022
Called “The Sequoia Crypto Fund” (it does what it says on the tin), it will be mainly used by the VC player to invest in “liquid” tokens and digital assets traded on exchanges.
And it will serve as a “sub fund” of the firm’s flagship Sequoia Capital Fund, which has invested in major crypto companies such as the FTX exchange, Jack Dorsey’s Bitcoin-payments focused Block, and the custodial platform Fireblocks.
“Our goal with this fund is to participate more actively in protocols, better support token-only projects, and learn by doing ourselves,” reads the Sequoia announcement.
One of the Web3 sector’s brightest stars is data-indexing protocol The Graph (GRT), a broad ecosystem with tentacles all the way through numerous blockchain networks and projects.
The Graph is sometimes referred to as “blockchain’s Google” and its aim is to make on-chain data easily accessible to decentralised applications (dApps) right across the crypto sphere.
Last week, the project’s many backers launched a US$205 million fund designed to support developers building in the system. Financed by Digital Currency Group, Multicoin Capital, Reciprocal Ventures, Gumi Cryptos Capital, NGC Ventures and HashKey, the fund will provide grants to teams building dApps using The Graph’s querying technology.
— Digital Currency Group (@DCGco) February 17, 2022
Helping to grow the Web3 and crypto space in general, the developing applications will reportedly be designed for the DeFi (decentralised finance), NFT (non-fungible token), DAO (decentralised autonomous organisations) and metaverse sectors, with cross-chain infrastructure in mind.
• 5ire, a layer 1, self-described “sustainable blockchain”, has raised US$100 million in funding from investment group Global Emerging Markets (GEM) as it seeks to go public with an IPO.
The Indian-based blockchain developer plans to use the funding to expand and grow its ecosystem while liaising with Indian government stakeholders as well as targeting international markets, Fortune 500 companies, family offices – the works.
Holy crap, @5ireChain got 100 million in funding from GEM.
"The minimum valuation we expect is around $1.1 Billion and the upper limit can be $2 billion or even higher" 🤯
— Tesla Taylor (@Tesla_Taylor) February 17, 2022
• Republic Realm, a metaverse investment company now rebranding to Everyrealm, enjoyed a $US60 million funding round last week led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (also know as “a16z”) and various celebrity investors.
Among the moneybags celebs joining the metaverse-investing craze are crypto fans Paris Hilton and Gene Simmons. Stockhead covered it in more depth last week.
• Axelar, a Greek-founded, Canadian-based blockchain interoperability network, has closed a US$35 million Series B funding round, giving it a US$1 billion valuation.
The round was led by Dragonfly Capital and Polychain Capital, with participation from North Island Ventures, Rockaway Blockchain Fund, Cygni Capital, Lemniscap, Olive Tree Capital, Blockchange Ventures, Node Capital, Waikit Lau and Gokul Rajaram.
• Blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands and global venture accelerator Brinc have teamed up to create a US$30 million “Guild Accelerator Program” dedicated to growing the crypto gaming guilds that are becoming increasingly popular with the rise of the GameFi, play-to-earn economy. Read more about it on Stockhead here.
• Ethernity, an Ethereum-based NFT marketplace with big connections in the world of US sports and entertainment, has raised US$20 million in seed funding.
VC investors included Steel Perlot, Kenetic, Black Edge Capital, Morningstar Ventures, Ripple, Algorand Foundation, Banter Capital, and Polygon Studios. And a couple of the disclosed angel investors included Riot Games’ Thomas Vu and American businessman Michael Rubin.
Celebrity focused NFT protocol, #Ethernity, has raised an astounding $20 million via its latest round of seed funding. As…
The post Ethernity Raises $20 Million to Build out its Ecosystem appeared first on NFT Plazas. https://t.co/GcWsATPmUV
— NFT SHOW🦇🔊 (@nftshownow) February 12, 2022
• Rainbow, an Ethereum-based mobile-app wallet, has raised US$18 million in a Series A round with investors including Seven Seven Six, Thirty Five Ventures, Hyperguap, Uncommon Projects, Y Combinator, Nikita Bier, and Bloom Investment Holdings.
• RabbitHole, a protocol that enables crypto rewards from using decentralised apps, has raised US$18 million in Series A funding. Investors include Greylock Partners and TCG Crypto.
The funding will apparently help RabbitHole expand upon its efforts “to help protocols fight speculation and support its “fight to make web3 more meritocratic via on-chain credentialing”, according to its announcement.
• BUD, a developing 3D interactive social network platform, has raised US$15million in Series A funding from investors including Qiming Venture Partners, Source Code Capital, GGV Capital, and Sky9 Capital.
— Digital Media Wire (@dmwnews) February 14, 2022
• Playible, a “next gen fantasy sports” company bringing gamified NFTs to the Terra network, has raised US$10million in pre-seed funding. Investors include: Hartmann Capital, Grizzly Capital and Big Brain Holdings.
We're thrilled to announce that we've raised funds at a $10 million pre-seed evaluation.
— Playible – Fantasy Sports on Terra (@Playible) February 14, 2022
• DIMO, a user-owned IoT platform enabling drivers to collect and share vehicle data, has raised US$9 million in seed funding. VC investors included: CoinFund, Variant, Slow Ventures, Table Management, Wonder Ventures, Stratos Technologies and Lattice.
• MixMob, a play-and-earn game built on the Solana blockchain, has raised US$7 million in seed funding from financers including: DeFiance Capital, Ascensive Assets, Not3Lau Capital, IOSG Ventures, Merit Circle, Genblock Capital, Shima Capital, Avocado DAO, Maven Capital, Morningstar Ventures, Solana Insiders and Skynet Trading.
Also backing the project are a group of well-known crypto angel investors, including one of the trio of Aussie brothers behind P&E game Illuvium, Kieran Warwick, along with Loi Luu, Alex Svanevik, Arthur Hayes, and Nick Chong.
— ⚡️Smart Crypto News ⚡️ (@SmartCryptoNew1) February 18, 2022
• Tiiik, an Aussie DeFi startup, has successfully closed its first seed round for AUD $5.2million with global heavyweight investors leading the raise.
Key investors included Global Founders Capital, Jump Capital and FinTech Collective, as well as Alvin Singh and Bosco Tan (co-founders at Pocketbook), Larry Diamond (co-founder at Zip Co), Heslin Kim (co-founder at SupraOracles), Jonty Kelt (founder at Fantail Ventures) and Lucas He (co-founder at OP Crypto).
— tiiik.money (@tiiik_money) February 20, 2022
• AlgoTrader, an algorithmic trading software solution has raised US$4.9 million in a pre-series B funding round. Investors include: SBI Investments, Fenbushi Capital, Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital, Verve Ventures, Quonota Investments, NeueCapital, and EOS VC Fund.
• Hyperspace, an NFT data aggregator protocol for Solana has rebranded from Solanalysis and raised US$4.5 million in seed funding. Investors: Dragonfly Capital, Pantera Capital, Jump Capital, Solana Capital, NFX, Galaxy Digital, Shima Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Sfermion, 6th Man Ventures, Soma Capital, Social Capital and Folius Ventures.
• Housecat, a crypto copy-trading platform, has raised US$3.5 million in seed funding. BlueYard Capital, Notation Capital and 3KVC as well as angel investors and early backers of the Ethereum Foundation and Polkadot participated in the funding round. You can read more about this one on Stockhead, here.
• Ethlas, a free to play, play-and-earn GameFi project (yep, with a metaverse angle, too), has raised US$2.7 million in seed funding. Investors include Sequoia Capital (see lead story, top), Yield Guild Games, Global Blockchain Innovative Capital, Venturra Capital, Play It Forward DAO, Blockchain Space, Deus Ex DAO, Hustle Fund and Genesis.