Financing Weekly Report | 24 public financing events; Zero-knowledge proof company RISC Zero completes $40 million Series A financing, led by Blockchain Capital.

Highlights of this issue

According to incomplete statistics from LianGuaiNews, there were 24 blockchain investment and financing events worldwide last week (7.17-7.23), with a total funding scale of over $240 million, a significant increase compared to the previous week. The overview is as follows:

  • Regarding DeFi, there were 5 investment and financing events, including Binance Labs investing $10 million in cross-chain lending protocol Radiant Capital;
  • In the field of NFTs and metaverse, there were 4 financing events, including AI metaverse startup Futureverse completing a Series A financing of $54 million, led by 10T Holdings;
  • There were 3 investment and financing events in the blockchain gaming track, including mobile game publisher Hexacore raising $3.5 million, led by Scalo Technologies;
  • In the infrastructure and tools track, there were 6 financing events, including infrastructure company RISC Zero, which aims to help developers develop zero-knowledge software, completing a Series A financing of $40 million, led by Blockchain Capital;
  • In the other Web3/crypto-related projects field, there were 5 financing events, including blockchain startup Cymbal raising $18.5 million, with participation from Solana Ventures;
  • In the field of centralized finance, there was 1 financing event: hybrid trading platform OpenEx completed a Pre-A financing with a valuation of $50 million, and the specific amount of financing was not disclosed, with participation from C² Ventures.

DeFi

Binance Labs invests $10 million in cross-chain lending protocol Radiant Capital

Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has invested $10 million in the cross-chain lending protocol Radiant Capital. This round of financing will drive further product development, including expanding oracle support, diversifying collateral options, deploying on the Ethereum mainnet, and full LayerZero message delivery support.

Stablecoin project Ethena announces completion of $6.5 million seed round financing, led by Dragonfly

Decentralized stablecoin project Ethena has announced the completion of a $6.5 million seed round financing, led by Dragonfly. Support was provided by derivatives exchanges such as Deribit, Bybit, OKX, Gemini, and Huobi, as well as BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes and his family office Maelstrom. Ethena is developing two key products: the first is a scalable native crypto-backed stablecoin called USDe, which is fully collateralized on-chain and maintains stability through Delta hedging of ETH collateral on centralized and decentralized exchanges; the second product builds on USDe by capturing stETH yields and the underlying of the futures market: The Internet Bond.

Side Labs, developer of cross-chain liquidity network Side Protocol, completes $1.5 million SAFT financing

The development company Side Labs of the cross-blockchain liquidity network Side Protocol has raised $1.5 million through SAFT financing. The total valuation of the tokens is $30 million. Participants include Hashkey Capital, KR1, and others. Side Labs plans to launch a private testnet within the next month and also build a public testnet to explore user rewards, grid liquidity, staking and governance, and other functionalities. The company aims to launch the first version of its mainnet within six months, followed by the introduction of a V2 testnet with zero-knowledge technology. Finally, Side Labs plans to launch a V2 mainnet using ZK technology next year, providing grid liquidity for L1 and L2 protocols.

Web3.0 insurance + options derivatives platform Marquee completes $1 million seed round financing with joint investment from Waterdrip Capital and other institutions

Web3.0 insurance + options derivatives project Marquee announced the completion of a $1 million seed round financing, with joint investment from Waterdrip Capital, Chain Capital, Bitrise Capital, ZC Capital, Coinw Ventures, and other institutions.

Marquee is a Web3.0 insurance + options derivatives project where users can purchase token price insurance or smart contract insurance to hedge against digital asset price fluctuations or security vulnerabilities. Users can also become insurance underwriters and earn multiple returns. Marquee combines DAO governance with smart contracts to establish a DeFi insurance + options derivatives platform that is accessible to everyone.

DEX infrastructure Native partners with Cypher Capital and reaches financing agreement

DEX infrastructure Native has established a new partnership and financing agreement with Web3 venture capital fund Cypher Capital. The specific amount has not been disclosed. This strategic partnership will provide Native with the necessary resources to advance its product development efforts, with a focus on flexibility, modularity, and interoperability. By leveraging Native’s cutting-edge technology, projects can have full control over their exchange experience, including user interfaces, pricing models, risk management settings, and exchange fees. All of this is achieved through an intuitive web-based interface that abstracts the complexity of underlying smart contracts and APIs.

NFT & Metaverse

AI metaverse company Futureverse completes $54 million Series A financing with lead investment from 10T Holdings and participation from Ripple Labs

AI metaverse startup Futureverse has completed a $54 million Series A financing round led by 10T Holdings, with participation from Ripple Labs and others. The valuation has not been disclosed. Futureverse was formed at the end of 2022 through the merger of eight companies, followed by three additional companies joining, resulting in a total of 11 different companies from the blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual universe, and gaming fields.

Aaron McDonald, co-founder of Futureverse, stated that the company has laid off about 20% of its employees during the restructuring process and currently has over 250 employees. Co-founder Senderoff stated that one of Futureverse’s core missions is to provide foundational technological infrastructure for user experiences in the metaverse. The company’s most famous products are FLUF World (an NFT series where each NFT is a cartoon bunny with unique characteristics) and AI League (a mobile soccer game licensed by FIFA).

NFT marketplace Jungle raises $16 million in funding

NFT marketplace Jungle, which integrates artificial intelligence search tools, has raised $16 million in funding. The identity of the investors has not been disclosed. It is reported that the search tool JungleAI is supported by OpenAI and aims to improve and simplify the way traders browse NFT markets and find the next major investment opportunity.

NFT liquidity solution platform Ra1se completes seed round of financing

NFT liquidity solution platform Ra1se has received seed round financing from a mining company in North America. Ra1se uses multi-chain compatibility and complex algorithms to transform illiquid NFTs into highly liquid blue-chip NFTs. It is reported that the Ra1se platform will launch its beta version in early August.

No-code NFT marketplace Authic Labs announces completion of seed round financing with participation from Angelwise, etc.

Web3-supported no-code NFT marketplace Authic Labs has announced the completion of seed round financing with participation from Angelwise, Rockstart, Graduate Entrepreneur Fund, SeedBlink, etc. The specific amount has not been disclosed. The funds from this round of financing will be used to expand its market coverage and support the development of new products and services. In January of this year, NFT marketplace Authic Labs announced the completion of a Pre-Seed round of financing, with Rockstart and Graduate Entrepreneur participating.

Blockchain Gaming

Web3 mobile game publisher Hexacore raises $3.5 million in financing, led by Scalo Technologies

Web3 mobile game publisher Hexacore has raised $3.5 million in financing, led by Scalo Technologies, with participation from Xsolla and Estoty. Hexacore’s previous game releases include Sushi Roll, Blend It 3D, and Merge Animals.

Web3 game developer Eyeball Games completes $1.5 million Pre-Seed financing, led by White Star Capital

Web3 game developer Eyeball Games has announced the completion of $1.5 million Pre-Seed financing, led by White Star Capital, with participation from Polygon Ventures, Immutable, Oular, Great South Gate Ventures, and several angel investors. The new funding will be used to develop Eyeball Pool, a blockchain-based NFT tabletop game. The game will initially be launched on the Immutable zkEVM chain and will expand to more blockchains, with plans to go live on mobile devices in Q1 2024. In addition, Eyeball Games will introduce NFT passports for early users.

Web3 game company Ambrus Studio receives investment from Goodwater Capital and Axia8 Ventures

Ambrus Studio, a Web3 game company founded by Johnson, former CEO of Riot Games in the Asia-Pacific region, has launched a new round of financing. SLianGuairtan Group is the lead investor in this round, with participation from Axia8 Ventures. This round of financing also introduces new strategic investor GoodWater Capital. The valuation and amount of this round of financing have not been disclosed.

Infrastructure & Tools

Zero-knowledge proof company RISC Zero raises $40 million in Series A financing, led by Blockchain Capital

RISC Zero, an infrastructure company that helps developers build zero-knowledge proof software, has completed a $40 million Series A financing round led by Blockchain Capital. Other participants include Galaxy Digital, IOSG, RockawayX, Maven 11, Fenbushi Capital, Delphi Digital, Algaé Ventures, IOBC, Zero Dao from Tribute Labs, and Alchemy. The funds will help RISC Zero bring its Bonsai computing platform to the market. RISC Zero will launch the Bonsai computing platform, which is a decentralized proof engine that allows developers to integrate zk proofs into their applications and chains to enhance security.

Web3 company Cosmic Wire completes $30 million seed round financing, led by Solana Foundation and Polygon

Web3 and blockchain solution technology company Cosmic Wire has completed a $30 million seed round financing, led by Solana Foundation and Polygon. This round of financing will be used to promote the development of decentralized applications by Cosmic Wire and expand the cross-chain technology of the Web3 ecosystem.

Manta Network developer p0x labs completes $25 million financing, led by Polychain Capital and Sequoia Capital China

Manta Network developer p0x labs has completed a $25 million Series A financing with a valuation of $500 million, led by Polychain Capital and Sequoia Capital China, with participation from Alliance, CoinFund, and SevenX Ventures. Manta Network has launched the testnet of its Layer 2 solution, Manta LianGuaicific, aiming to develop ZK-based applications in its modular ZK ecosystem. Manta claims that its native Manta wallet has been installed over 200,000 times, and its comprehensive project ecosystem covers over 1.5 million users.

AA wallet project Echooo Wallet completes $15 million financing

Account Abstraction (AA) wallet project Echooo Wallet has completed a $15 million financing with a valuation of $100 million, with participation from Skyview Capital, A&T Capital, and others.

Blockchain startup Super Block completes $8 million financing

Superblock, the developer of the lightweight node protocol Over Protocol, has raised a total of $8 million through two financing rounds, with participation from SK, Netmarble, DSC, E&Investment, Schmidt, SpringCamp, NaverZ, and others. Earlier this year, Superblock announced that it had completed a Series A financing round of KRW 9 billion (approximately $7.22 million), with participation from large Korean companies and venture capital firms such as SK, Netmarble, DSC Investment, E&INVESTMENT, and Schmidt. Superblock was founded in 2021, and Over Protocol is an L1 blockchain that provides lightweight full nodes.

Web3 operating protocol dappOS completes seed round financing, led by Sequoia China and IDG Capital

Web3 operating protocol dappOS has completed seed round financing, led by Sequoia China and IDG Capital, with participation from OKX Ventures, HashKey Capital, KuCoin Ventures, TRONDAO Ventures, Gate Labs, Taihill Venture, Symbolic Capital, and Foresight Ventures. Earlier, dappOS released the V2 version roadmap, which supports unified accounts, task-related order execution, and a new bidding system. The V2 roadmap is divided into three stages: super stable, permissionless access, and fully decentralized.

Others

Blockchain startup Cymbal completes $18.5 million financing

Blockchain startup Cymbal has completed a $18.5 million financing, with participation from First Round Capital, Solana Ventures, CAA Connect, Coinbase Ventures, LianGuaitron, GV, Acrew, and UTA Ventures. The company plans to use this funding to expand its business and development. Cymbal is building a human-readable blockchain browser that allows users to view the Ethereum blockchain and search for events and activities stored on the chain (including holdings, transactions, social media accounts, etc.).

Bitcoin mining company Argo Blockchain raises approximately $7.5 million through the issuance of new shares

Bitcoin mining company Argo Blockchain (ARB) has raised £5.7 million (approximately $7.5 million) through the issuance of new shares, with the funds being used to reduce the company’s outstanding debt. The number of shares sold in this offering accounts for approximately 12% of the company’s pre-sale market value, priced at a discount of approximately 14% to Argo’s 30-day volume-weighted average price (VWAP) for its stock. In April, the London-based company reported a net loss of £194.2 million for the year, compared to a net profit of £30.8 million in the previous year.

Tromero, a company that combines machine learning and blockchain consensus, completes a £1.5 million seed round of financing

Tromero, a company that combines machine learning training and blockchain consensus, has completed a £1.5 million seed round of financing, led by BlueYard Capital. Tromero’s blockchain training artificial intelligence method integrates proof of work consensus with machine learning in order to reduce AI training and hosting costs.

On-chain tracking tool Interface raises $1.4 million in financing, led by Mask Network and Polymorphic Capital

Social feed stream application Interface has announced the completion of a $1.4 million seed round of financing, led by Polymorphic Capital and Mask Network, with participation from Seed Club, Caballeros Capital, and others. Earlier in early 2022, Interface raised 50 ETH in crowdfunding on Mirror, with the participation of many notable individuals, including LianGuaitricio Worthalter, Anton Bukov, Andrew Kozik, Kirill Malev, and Mask Network.

DAO registration service provider MIDAO raises $1 million in financing, with participation from former Coinbase CTO

DAO registration service provider MIDAO has raised $1 million in financing, with participation from The LegalTech Fund, FJ Labs, and angel investor Balaji Srinivasan, former CTO of Coinbase. The new financing will be used to enhance MIDAO’s core product, provide legal recognition for Web3 projects and DAOs, and help ensure contributor liability protection. It will also expand MIDAO’s global network of Web3 lawyers and professional service providers, as well as expand its service scope globally.

Centralized Finance

OpenEx completes Pre-A round of financing at a valuation of $50 million, with participation from C² Ventures

Hybrid trading platform OpenEx has completed a Pre-A round of financing at a valuation of $50 million, with the specific financing amount undisclosed. Participants include C² Ventures, Agallochum Capital, TKX Capital, and Galxe and Fenbushi Capital founder and managing director as an individual investor. The new financing will be used to improve the DApp trading experience and develop new financial products. OpenEx is a hybrid trading platform that combines CEX and DEX and has been online for nearly 3 months, with a daily trading volume of approximately $100 million. In January, OpenEx announced the completion of a seed round of financing worth millions of dollars, led by TKX Capital with participation from Web3 venture capital firm Agallochum Capital.

Venture Capital Institutions

Polychain Capital raises approximately $200 million in the “first closing” of its fourth fund

Venture capital firm Polychain Capital raised approximately $200 million in the “first close” of its fourth fund, and the company plans to raise a total of about $400 million for the fourth fund. The new financing has led to a restructuring of Polychain’s team of about 25 people, with around 15 people focusing on research. According to sources familiar with the matter, three employees in the research team were laid off as the company prepares for its fourth round of funding, while one employee was added. As part of this personnel adjustment, general partner Niraj LianGuaint also left to start his own project. Pitchbook data shows that Polychain has raised three funds, with assets under management of about $2.6 billion. In March last year, the managed assets exceeded $6.6 billion.

Venture capital firm CoinFund has raised $158 million for its new fund

New York-based venture capital firm CoinFund announced on Tuesday that its new fund has raised $158 million to support early-stage crypto startups. The initial fundraising target for the fund was $125 million, but the interest received exceeded expectations. CoinFund’s latest investment vehicle is its fourth seed fund, which has invested in Giza, a startup that aims to integrate artificial intelligence into smart contracts, and Superstate. With the new funding, CoinFund will partially focus on early-stage companies at the intersection of crypto and artificial intelligence, and will continue to make token investments. Alex Felix, Chief Investment Officer of CoinFund, said that about 90% of the company’s transactions involve tokens. Felix said that the company still believes the industry can integrate with traditional finance in a regulated manner.

Hong Kong crypto fund PSE Trading completes eight-figure financing with participation from Cipholio Ventures

Hong Kong cryptocurrency fund PSE Trading has completed eight-figure financing, with the specific amount not yet disclosed. Cipholio Ventures participated in the financing, and the new funds will be used to enhance digital asset management capabilities and develop related service suites. PSE Trading aims to provide secure and compliant crypto products and service solutions, with its funds managed by compliant asset custodian service provider Ceffu.

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