Funding for crypto startups is becoming increasingly scarce, as venture capital investment in the industry has seen a consistent decline for the past five quarters since Q1 2022, totaling $2.34 billion globally. Investors are hesitant to invest due to concerns about the potential risks associated with stringent regulatory measures and economic uncertainty.
To detail the recent developments in the industry, Andreessen Horowitz aka a16z, a prominent US-based venture capital firm known for its significant investments in the industry, opened its first overseas office in London. Detailing on investments, US-based web3 gaming startup Argus Labs picked up $10 million in June this year and Cryptogpt also raised the same amount to expand into the Asian market.
As per recent PitchBook data reveals that nearly $1 billion was raised across 90 deals in August 2023. This is almost 50% more than the investments raised in July. Likewise, the crypto market across the world has secured notable investments in the first few days of this month.
That said, here are the recent funding rounds that were closed in 2023 so far. Take a look at these investment rounds here.
Story Protocol (US)
Founder/s: Jason Levy, Jason Zhao, Seung Yoon Lee
Founded year: NA
Total funding: $83.3M
Story Protocol is a Web3 technology developer with the goal of changing the way narrative universes are formed. The company’s technology enables creators to develop a narrative plot with ownership and motivation by allowing writers, artists, game developers, musicians, etc. to create, control, and license intellectual property on-chain.
Last week, Story Protocol raised $54 million in funding led by a16z crypto, part of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, along with investors including Endeavor and Samsung Ventures.
Brine Fi (Dubai)
Founder/s: Bhavesh Praveen, Ritumbhara Bhatnagar, Shaaran Lakshminarayanan
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $16.5M
Founded by university students, including a prodigy in coding from the age of six, Brine Fi is a crypto decentralised exchange targeted at institutions and high-frequency traders. The platform deploys StarkWare’s zkP (Zero Knowledge Proofs) technology, which enables privacy on crypto trading positions. The company believes demand for decentralised exchanges will continue to grow amid concern about the security of centralised platforms.
Recently, Brine Fi has snapped $16.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by an American hedge fund, Pantera Capital, with participation from Elevation Capital, Starkware Ltd, Spartan Group, Goodwater Capital, Upsparks Ventures, Protofund Ventures, and angel investors.
Founder/s: Patrick Loepfe, Philippe Naegeli
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: $15M
Swiss B2B fintech company, GenTwo operates globally with the mission to expand the investment universe by making all assets investable. It has built a financial engineering network and its proprietary platform solution GenTwo PRO empowers investment professionals to create unlimited, white-labeled investment solutions.
The company recently snapped $15 million in Series A funding. The round was led by US-based Point72 Ventures. GenTwo intends to use the funds to expand internationally and further develop its financial engineering platform.
Trident Digital Group (US)
CEO: Anthony DeMartino
Founded year: 2023
Total funding: $8M
Trident Digital Group is a next-generation digital asset lender that restores market liquidity with a new standard of risk management and capital efficiency. It provides a platform that allows lenders and borrowers to connect transparently. Its product is linked to the risk-free rate, optimised tax and regulatory solutions for institutional investors, and solution services enterprise solutions for liquidity, security, and scaling issues around digital assets.
In a recent development, Trident Digital Group picked up $8 million in a seed funding round that was led by New Form and White Star Capital, with participation from CMT Digital, Joint Effects, and Permit Ventures. The company intends to use the funds to expand operations and its development efforts.
Founder/s: Xin Li-Cohen, Audrey Ou
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $9.2M
New York-headquartered TRLab works with artists, estates, and art institutions to conceive, produce, and launch digital-first art experiences for new and established collectors. TRLab’s educational approach uses online learning, competitive challenges, and digital collectibles to make fine art and art history more accessible to digital-centric audiences.
Earlier this month, the female-led company netted $5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Hivemind Capital Partners and OKX Ventures and the funds will be used to onboard additional artists, foundations, and cultural institutions onto TRLab’s platform. It also plans to expand its market presence worldwide and integrate new technologies to improve the digital art-collecting experience.
D3 Global (US)
Founder/s: Fred Hsu, Michael Ho
Founded year: 2023
Total funding: $5M
The young startup D3 Global aims to revolutionise the real-world asset class of domain names on the Internet’s root layer – the Domain Name System (DNS). In partnership with leading Web3 ecosystems and for the benefit of their communities, D3’s patent-pending technology will introduce interoperability between Web2 and Web3 to deliver enhanced utility, security, and universal access to critical internet infrastructure. It is touted to be the first tokenised marketplace that bridges the gap between Web2 and Web3.
Last week, the next-generation domain name company, announced that it closed $5 million seed funding round, led by Shima Capital with participation from Lightshift, Dispersion Capital, VentureSouq, Infinite Capital, MZ Web3 Fund, Kestrel0x1, Nonagon, C² Ventures, Arthur Hayes’ Maelstrom, and Identity Digital founder Paul Stahura.
Founder/s: Vaibhav Chellani, Rishabh Khurana
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: NA
Socket aims to unify the multichain ecosystem by connecting all chains and enabling asset and data transfers between them. It provides developers with readily available resources and solutions for building decentralised applications. Socket is also being leveraged by a number of applications and wallets that are expanding bridging to L2s (Layer 2) for their users.
Last week, Socket raised $5 million in funding led by Coinbase Ventures and Framework Ventures. The company intends to use the funds to expand its collaboration with Coinbase and its suite of products.
Gleen AI (US)
Founder/s: Ashu Dubey, Nagendra Kumar
Founded year: 2022
Total funding: $4.9M
Californian gen AI startup – Gleen AI is touted to be the world’s most accurate and capable generative AI for customer success teams. Its generative AI technology, which can be deployed in less than two hours, integrates with leading help desk solutions, goes beyond simply answering questions by taking actions, and automatically unifies across fragmented knowledge.
Providing a chatbot aimed to solve the problem of hallucination in large language models, Gleen AI raised $4.9 million in seed funding a few days back. The round was led by Slow Ventures, with participation from 6th Man Ventures, South Park Commons, Spartan Group, CoinShares, and a slew of angel investors. The company plans to use the funding to expand its sales and marketing efforts and educate users on issues related to hallucination, security, and compliance in the field of generative AI.
VRRB Labs (US)
Founder/s: Andrew Nicholas Smith
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: $1.4M
Miami-based VRRB Labs is at the forefront of decentralised computing innovation. Its compute platform is claimed to reside atop the fastest, most scalable layer 1 blockchain ever devised, providing unmatched speed and efficiency without compromise. The company is building a language-agnostic platform to help developers “build, ship, run” applications faster. This lightweight block mining and consensus algorithm known as Proof of Claim allows for fast, decentralised, fair validation of transactions and block mining.
Earlier this year, VRRB Labs snapped $1.4 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by Jump Crypto, Taureon, and Big Brain Holdings. The company intends to use the funds to further scale its development and marketing teams and build out an educational program for developers interested in building on its platform.
Kotani Pay (Africa)
Founder/s: Felix Macharia, Samuel Kariuki
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $2.7M
Kotani Pay, headquartered in Nairobi, is a cryptocurrency payment startup dedicated to simplifying cross-border remittances for the vast underbanked communities across Africa. It allows people to access blockchain technology to send and receive money without the need for internet connectivity or a bank account.
Recently, Kotani Pay secured $2 million in pre-seed funding led by P1 Ventures, with participation from various investors, including DCG/Luno and Flori Ventures. After offering its service in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, and South Africa, the startup wants to use its latest funding to expand to Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Nigeria.