Jack Ma’s Blue Pool Capital is betting on NFTs again? A quick look at the 25 projects that received top-tier crypto VC investments in May.

Observing the latest investments from top crypto VCs can help you see market trends and discover new trends early. Which projects have VCs been bullish on lately? This article will summarize 25 projects that received top crypto VC investments in May, helping readers quickly understand.

1. DeFi

1. Cetus

Cetus is a DEX based on Sui and Aptos (Move system L1), characterized by its ability to provide liquidity within a specific range, achieving higher capital efficiency.

2. Fedi

  • May 3, 2023

  • Series A: $17 million

  • Lead investor: Ego Death Capital

  • Investors: TBD (subsidiary of Block, focusing on the Bitcoin Lightning Network), Kingsway, Trammell Venture Blockingrtners, Timechain

Fedi is a platform that uses Bitcoin and the Lightning Network (reducing the risk of a single point of failure) to help communities collaborate on managing assets and data. Fedi has developed a wallet and plans to add chat, web browsing, and dApps in the future.

3. Opentrade

  • May 4, 2023

  • $1.5 million

  • Investors: Circle Ventures, Kronos Research, Kyber Ventures, Polygon Ventures, Outlier Ventures

Opentrade is an RWA protocol that allows Web3 institutions to make broad investments, including US Treasuries and commercial paper, by depositing stablecoins on the protocol.

4. Dolomite

  • May 13, 2023

  • $2.5 million

  • Lead investors: Draper Goren Holm, NGC

  • Investors: Coinbase Ventures, WWVentures, 6th Man Ventures, etc.

Dolomite is an Arbitrum-based DEX that provides functions such as lending, margin trading, and spot trading.

5. Hourglass

  • May 17, 2023

  • Seed round: $4.2 million

  • Lead investor: Electric Capital

  • Investors: Circle Ventures, Tribe Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Hack VC

Hourglass is a DeFi protocol that introduces a new concept called “Time-Bound Tokens” to help other DeFi protocols (DEX, lending, LSDFi) guide liquidity.

Liquidity is very important in the DeFi world. However, there are many unpredictable factors, including the fact that users can withdraw liquidity at any time. If users keep withdrawing and the protocol cannot dispose of assets in a timely manner, the protocol will have liquidity problems and may even go bankrupt.

To solve this problem, Hourglass provides users with additional rewards: if Alice has 10 Frax Ethereum (10 frxETH) and promises to pledge it to the Frax protocol for about a month, Hourglass will issue TBT in exchange for 10 frxETH and the expected return value of one month. In this way, the Frax protocol guarantees at least one month of 10 frxETH liquidity, and Alice does this to get additional rewards because she clearly defines the “time range”.

At the same time, Hourglass also developed a trading market for TBT. For example, if Alice wants to sell TBT worth 10 ETH before the expiration date, she needs to match buyers. Of course, buyers may not want to pay 10 ETH because they cannot transfer assets within a month, so they can submit the amount they want after the discount based on the opportunity cost. Alice can choose from the submitted orders in the background.

6. Azteco

  • May 18, 2023

  • Seed: $6 million

  • Lead investor: Jack Dorsey (CEO of Block)

  • Investors: Lightning Ventures, Hivemind Ventures, Ride Wave Ventures, Aleka Capital, Visary Capital, Gaingels, etc.

Azteco is a platform that allows people without a bank account to easily purchase Bitcoin (skipping download centralized exchanges and current steps). Users can buy Azteco vouchers on the platform and redeem them for BTC.

二、CeFi

7. River Financial

  • May 16, 2023

  • Series B: $35 million

  • Lead investor: Kingsway Capital

  • Investors: Peter Thiel (co-founder of BlockingyBlockingl), Cygni, Goldcrest, Valor Equity Blockingrtners

River Financial is a Bitcoin-focused centralized exchange that provides services such as Bitcoin mining machine transactions, custody, and mining. In addition, it provides an API that makes it easy for businesses to use the Lightning Network.

三、NFT/Games

8. Vibe

  • May 4, 2023

  • Seed: $4 million

  • Investors: Alchemy, Aglaé Ventures, P Nation (a record company operated by Korean Bird Uncle), etc.

Vibe is an NFT issuance platform that allows you to productize NFT products with various functions, including NFT loyalty programs, creating offline events, and exchanging physical goods, even if you don’t know how to code. Through Vibe, creators can interact with fans in various ways.

9. Artifact Labs

  • May 8, 2023

  • $3.25 million

  • Lead investor: Blue Pool Capital

  • Investors: Animoca Ventures

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post spun off its NFT business last year, creating Artifact Labs to preserve real-world historical events on the blockchain (by tokenizing reports or objects). For example, the company has tokenized artifacts from the Titanic.

Worth noting is that Blue Pool Capital, which manages portions of the wealth of Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai, has completed eight investments in the crypto industry, including five NFT projects: The Sandbox, Metaplex, Animoca Brands, Fast Break Lab, and Artifact Labs. In addition, Blue Pool Capital has invested in CeFi project FTX, L1 project Polygon, and Solana-based decentralized exchange Aver.

10. Aether Games

  • May 9, 2023

  • $4.5 million

  • Investors: Mysten Labs, Polygon, Magic Eden, Polkastarter, Cogitent Ventures, Ultra, GSR Ventures, Emurgo, Master Ventures, Eclipse

Aether Games is a game studio that makes various NFT games, including the collectible card game Eternal Card and the 3D action game Eternal Gate.

11. Artizen

  • May 11, 2023

  • $2.2 million

  • Investors: Consensys Mesh, Animoca Brands, Protocol Labs, among others

Artizen is a decentralized crowdfunding platform that allows investors to raise funds for projects related to art, science, technology design, and more.

12. Pudgy Penguins

  • May 10, 2023

  • Seed Round: $9 million

  • Investors: 1kx, Big Brain Holdings, Kornos, Ethersole, CRIT Ventures, KuCoin, CoinGecko, Puzzle Ventures, Shima Capital, Old Fashion Research, Origin

Pudgy Penguins, featuring penguin cartoon characters, launched in April 2022 and is currently one of the popular PFP NFT projects on Ethereum. Pudgy Penguins not only issues NFTs, but also sells physical toys based on NFTs.

13. Izumo

  • May 16, 2023

  • Angel Round: $2.2 million

  • Investors: Hiroaki Kitano (CTO of Sony Group), Jaynti Kanani (founder of Polygon), Kevin Lin (co-founder of Twitch, CEO of Metatheory), Richard Ma (CEO of Quantstamp), Suji Yan (CEO of Mask Network), etc.

Izumo is a platform that helps streamers, artists, musicians, and video bloggers monetize their content.

14. Tabi

  • May 29, 2023

  • Angel Round: $10 million

  • Investors: Animoca Brands, Draper Dragon, Hashkey Capital, Infinity Crypto Ventures, Youbi Capital, etc.

Tabi (formerly Treasureland) is an NFT marketplace based on the BNB network, with main functions including NFT trading, LaunchBlockingd, and creating task activities.

IV. L1/L2

15. Nolus

  • May 2, 2023

  • Seed Round: $2.5 million

  • Investors: Dorahacks, Everstake, Cogitent Ventures, Token Metrics Ventures, Autonomy Capital, etc.

Nolus is an L1 based on the Cosmos SDK, focusing on lending services. Unlike other lending protocols, it is not over-collateralized, allowing users to borrow more funds relative to collateral, and has less liquidation risk. As a member of the Cosmos multi-chain ecosystem, Nolus also supports Cosmos’ cross-chain protocols IBC and ICA, allowing interoperability with other chains.

16. Anoma Foundation

  • May 31, 2023

  • $25 million

  • Lead investor: EMCC

  • Investors: Electric Capital, Delphi Digital, Dialectic, KR1, Spartan, NGC, MH Ventures, Bixin Ventures, No Limit, Plassa, Perridon Ventures, Anagram, Factor, etc.

Anoma Foundation is a Swiss-based non-profit organization responsible for developing Anoma (a full-stack architecture that helps developers build dApps) and Namada (an L1 that is intent-driven, allowing for private transactions where each party in a transaction can individually choose the assets they want to send or receive).

五、Web3 Services

17. Story Protocol

  • May 17, 2023

  • Seed round: $29.3 million

  • Lead investor: a16z

  • Investors: Hashed, Mirana Corp, DAO5, Samsung Next Fund, Two Small Fish Ventures, Berggruen, SLVC

Story Protocol is a platform that allows for the creation and management of IP on-chain. There is no more public information, but with investment from top VCs, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

18. LabDAO

  • May 24, 2023

  • $3.6 million

  • Lead investors: Gumi Cryptos Capital, Maven 11

  • Investors: North Island Ventures, Seed Club Ventures, ID Theory, Road Capital, Curve Labs, gmjp.lol, Molecule, Gnosis DAO, The LAO, Orange DAO, Beaker DAO, Spaceship DAO, Balaji Srinivasan

LabDAO is a life science-focused DAO organization where researchers can pitch research ideas to seek investment or find partners.

19. Tools For Humanity

  • May 25, 2023

  • Series C: $115 million

  • Lead Investor: Blockchain Capital

  • Investors: a16z, Bain Capital Crypto, Distributed Global

Tools For Humanity is the company behind Worldcoin, which has attracted a large amount of investment despite the crypto market being in a bear market. Worldcoin rewards people around the world with airdropped tokens for verifying their human identity through an iris recognition device called Orb and creating a digital identity called World ID.

Sam Altman, co-founder of Worldcoin and CEO of OpenAI, believes that most people will be unemployed in the future due to artificial intelligence, so UBI (Universal Basic Income) is crucial.

Therefore, Worldcoin aims to validate and create people’s identities in the digital world, as well as provide them with a basic income.

20. Transak

  • May 31, 2023

  • Series A: $20 million

  • Lead Investor: CE Innovation Capital

  • Investors: SBI Ven Capital, Sygnum, Azimut, Third Kind Venture Capital, UOB Venture Management, Signum Capital, Animoca Brands, Genting Ventures, Istari Ventures, No Limit Holdings, Woodstock Fund, IOSG Ventures, KX, Axelar, Tokentus, The Lao, and more.

Transak is one of the largest Web3 payment services, allowing users to exchange fiat and cryptocurrencies on any platform or dApp integrated with the service.

21. Magic

  • May 31, 2023

  • Strategic: $52 million

  • Lead Investor: BlockingyBlockingl Ventures

  • Investors: Cherubic, Synchrony, KX, Northzone, Volt Capital, and more.

Magic is a “wallet as a service” company that aims to abstract away the complexity of Web3 and provide businesses and users with a customizable crypto wallet as easy as Web2. So far, Magic has created over 20 million wallets and has been used by over 130,000 developers.

### Six, Infrastructure #### 22. zkLink zkLink is a zk-SNARKs-based L2 protocol that focuses on multi-chain transactions, currently supporting networks such as Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, zkSync, Scroll, etc. In addition, developers can use its API to create more widely ranged cross-chain products, including cross-chain DEX and cross-chain NFT markets, etc.- Date: May 4, 2023 – Strategy: $10 million – Investors: Coinbase Ventures, Ascensive Assets, SIG DTI, BigBrain Holdings, Efficient Frontier, etc. #### 23. Webb Webb is a privacy cross-chain protocol based on ZK technology. Its flagship product, Hubble Bridge, allows users to transfer assets, verify identities, and message across multiple networks.- Date: May 8, 2023 – Seed Round: $7 million – Lead investors: Polychain Capital, Lemniscap – Investors: Zee Prime, CMS Holdings, etc. #### 24. Airstack Airstack is a blockchain data platform that allows developers to easily query data from multiple networks. It also develops an AI assistant for users to query by asking questions. For example, asking “Help me find the wallet address of a holder with over 10,000 MATIC,” the AI assistant will automatically provide query results.- Date: May 17, 2023 – Pre-Seed: $7 million – Lead investor: Superscrypt – Investors: Polygon, Hashed Emergent, NGC, Primal Capital, UOB Ventures, Signum Capital, etc. #### 25. PYOR- Date: N/A- Information not provided.

  • May 19, 2023

  • Seed Round: $4 million

  • Lead Investor: Castle Island Ventures

  • Investors: Hash3, Antler, Future Perfect Venture, Force Ventures, CoinSwitch Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Balaji Srinivasan

PYOR is an institutional blockchain data analytics platform that allows users to access data from various networks and create custom dashboards. Currently, the platform is in a private testing phase.

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