VC Roundup: Capital flows and alternative funding models fuel crypto startups

Investors specializing in venture capital have returned to the cryptocurrency sector, providing startups with fresh financing options besides traditional methods, including awards and token sales for their projects.

Seamless, a lending platform native to Base, has teamed up with Degen Chain at the layer-3 level and Pandora, a semi-fungible token protocol, to award around $600,000 in funding. This initiative is designed for creators and developers working on the Base platform.

Degen targets developers who are drawn to creating on Farcaster and the Degen Chain. In contrast, Pandora welcomes creators who are passionate about using ERC-404 technology for their digital collections and meme projects.

In simple terms, CryptoMoon Ras from the Seamless Community Grants Program (SCGP) emphasized that each community member will assess grant applications. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of how these grants can improve their respective ecosystems. The program welcomes creative and beneficial ideas.

The Community Governance forum is now accepting applications for new grants. To apply, prospective grantees need to fill out a form that includes information about their project and its particular requirements.

A new funding opportunity is approaching within the SingularityNET community. This upcoming event, referred to as the Deep Funding Round 4, aims to distribute over $1 million in financial support for decentralized artificial intelligence projects. The announcement of this round is anticipated to take place in early May.

New projects and developers can greatly benefit from grants, but an increasingly friendly financial landscape is also arising for crypto startups. In the initial three months of 2024, investments in cryptocurrency companies surged by 38%, while the number of funded projects experienced a 49% increase – the most significant rise since the final quarter of 2021.

Over $1.1 billion was poured into crypto initiatives in March – a sum representing a significant 52.5% surge from the previous month. The majority of investments were allocated towards building infrastructure and supporting decentralized finance projects.

So far in April, Monad Labs, a layer-1 protocol led by Paradigm, raised $225 million in a funding round. Meanwhile, Auradine, a crypto mining hardware supplier, finished a Series B investment worth $80 million.

In the latest issue of CryptoMoon’s Venture Capital Review, we highlight businesses that successfully secured funding during the early April timeframe.

AI-blockchain platform Sapien raises $5M in seed round

Sapien, a startup specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) data labeling, announced a $5M seed investment from Primitive Ventures, Animoca, Ravikant Capital, and Yield Guild Games. Founded in 2023 by Trevor Koverko, a former Polymath team member, Sapien is addressing the AI challenge of data labeling with a novel approach. The company employs blockchain technology to introduce gamification into data labeling tasks and incentivize labelers for superior performance. Currently valued at approximately $3 billion, the global data labeling sector is mostly controlled by labeling farms in developing countries. According to Koverko, “This investment enables us to grow our team, enhance our frontend labeling platform, and deliver top-notch data.”

Ribbit Capital leads $10.6M funding round for Alpen Labs’s Bitcoin-based economy

Alpen Labs, a Bitcoin technology company specializing in layer-2 development, has announced the successful completion of a $10.6 million funding round. This investment will be used to improve Bitcoin’s blockchain capacity using zero-knowledge proofs and introduce smart contracts. Emerging from the shadows, Alpen Labs intends to bring advanced contract capabilities to Bitcoin via its rollup system. The financing was spearheaded by Ribbit Capital, with contributions also coming from Castle Island Ventures, Robot Ventures, and Axiom Capital. Founded almost two years ago, Alpen Labs is dedicated to developing a flexible and scalable layer for Bitcoin that supports various financial applications such as payments, lending, and stablecoins. The team consists of industry veterans from Blockstream Research, Nethermind, Aleo, and Palantir, working towards creating an ecosystem where transactions can be settled through Bitcoin.

VC Roundup: Capital flows and alternative funding models fuel crypto startups

Node sales generated $8M for Ethereum layer-2 HYCHAIN

In a little over two days, HYCHAIN, a decentralized gaming network at the Layer-2 level, managed to amass approximately $8 million through a node sale by selling 2,098 Ether (ETH). The network’s business model enables community members to earn rewards by operating software nodes. In return, they receive a perpetual 25% share of transaction fees for ensuring network security. HYCHAIN reported that around 3,357 unique holders created 16,876 node keys. The mainnet went live on March 9 and offers various features and connections to both Ethereum and Polygon networks.

Web3Firewall secures $2.5M in pre-seed funding

In a recent pre-seed funding round, Web3Firewall raised $2.5 million with Laser Digital, the digital asset branch of Nomura, gumi Cryptos Capital, and SPEILLLP, a Susquehanna International Group affiliate, leading the investment. Founded in 2023 by Dr. Samer Fayssal, a former chief information security officer at BitGo, Web3Firewall provides an all-in-one risk management and compliance solution tailored to blockchain and digital asset businesses, focusing on those active in decentralized finance (DeFi), nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). The platform is set to launch in the second quarter of this year, boasting real-time threat identification, mitigation, and reaction capabilities driven by AI and machine learning technologies.

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2024-04-15 04:11