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Trends driving tech: Top 10 Web3 startups building the internet of future

Web3 startups

The NFT and crypto market has witnessed massive growth in recent years and is getting into the mainstream. “Non-fungible token” aka NFT is a way to store data and this is a form of asset that can be bought and sold much like anything else.

Now, Web 3.0 is trending, especially into crypto, blockchain and NFT and many VCs are investing in these companies. In a recent move, Sydney-based AirTree Ventures, a prolific VC firm announced three new funds worth $700 million to focus on web 3, the next generation of the web.

NFT marketplace OpenSea invested in Dharma Labs after investing in Axios last month. Besides this, Crypto.com, a popular cryptocurrency exchange platform extended its VC arm’s fund to $500 million as it wants to back early-stage startups to help the ecosystem grow further.

As evidence of the increasing investments in this space, we recently covered that Polygon – a decentralised scaling platform for the Ethereum blockchain picked up $450 million from Sequoia Capital India. Likewise, the identity platform for Web3 – IndyKite bagged $8 million from Molten Ventures. Besides them, the tennis icon Serena Williams invested in the French NFT platform Sorare to shape up Web3.

In a recent development, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, acquired crypto wallet to accelerate the Web3 adoption. Also, Kleoverse, the Finnish company raised $1.3 million to build its global community of Web3 builders and developers.

Besides these companies that are popular, a slew of amazing Web3 startups have received funding and attained sizzling valuations, which is a proof that Web3 is here to stay! Here, TFN has listed some Web3 startups building the internet of the future.

Alchemy
Image credits: Alchemy

Alchemy (US)

Founder/s: Joseph Lau, Nikil Viswanathan
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: $345M

Alchemy wants to do for blockchain and Web3 what AWS (Amazon Web Services) did for the internet. Its developer tool aims to remove the complexity and costs of building infrastructure while improving applications. Alchemy powers a range of transactions across almost every blockchain vertical, including financial institutions, exchanges, multinational organisations such as UNICEF, and billion-dollar decentralised finance projects.

Recently, Alchemy wants to be the ‘de facto platform’ for developers building on web3 raised $200 million in a Series C1 equity round that values the company at $10.2 billion. The investment came from existing backer Lightspeed Venture Partners and new investor private equity firm Silver Lake alongside existing investments Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Coatue Management, DFJ, Pantera, and Lee Fixel’s Addition.

Dune Analytics
Image credits: Dune Analytics

Dune Analytics (Norway)

Founder/s: Fredrik Haga, Mats Olsen
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: $79.4M

Dune Analytics from Oslo, Norway is an Ethereum-centric analytics platform that makes on-chain crypto data accessible and consumable. The open crypto analytics platform enables anyone to query, share, fork, remix and collaborate on data charts and dashboards.

The crypto analytics platform raised $69.42 million in a Series B round led by Coatue a few days back. The funds will be used to train, reward and empower the new breed of Web-3 data analysts they call Dune Wizards.

Nestcoin
Image credits: Nestcoin

Nestcoin (Spain)

Founder/s: Yele Bademosi, Taiwo Orilogbon
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $6.5M

Nestcoin is a Web3 application company that builds, operates, and invests in crypto-native products. It builds products to help Africans and residents of other frontier markets understand and adopt crypto. Nestcoin has made a few different moves such as a crypto education media called Breach and Metaverse Magna, a gaming guild to help gamers earn up to $1,000 monthly. These confirm the company’s intentions of driving crypto adoption in Africa.

Earlier this month, Nestcoin raised a $6.45 million pre-seed round from Distributed Global and Alter Global alongside Serena Ventures, Alameda Research, A&T Capital, MSA Capital, 4DX Ventures and a few others.

Solana Walle
Image credits: Solana Walle

Solana Wallet (US)

Founder/s: Anatoly Yakovenko, Rob Oshima
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: $61.8M

US-based Solana is a crypto startup that builds and develops crypto apps for decentralised apps and marketplaces. It uses smart contracts, but it processes transactions at a much higher speed and lower cost. Solana is a fast, secure, censorship-resistant blockchain built for scale.

In June last year, Solana raised over $314 million through a private sale of its native token SOL. Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Alameda Research and several other investors participated in the round. The funds will be used to support the Solana ecosystem and develop DeFi platforms and Web3 projects.

FanCraze
Image credits: FanCraze

Fancraze (India)

Founder/s: Anshum Bhambri, Kushagra Kohli, Sundar Raman
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: NA

India-based FanCraze is a platform for cricket-related NFTs. It has partnered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to release 75 videos of important and famous cricketing moments as licensed NFTs. The startup has partnered with cricketers.

FanCraze has built a mainstream-friendly wallet for users to buy tokens using fiat currency sans worrying about gas costs and transaction fees. FanCraze, a marketplace for cricket-related non-fungible tokens, is in advanced discussions to raise $100 million.

Carry1st
Image credits: Carry1st

Carry1st (South Africa)

Founder/s: Cordel Robbin-Coker, Lucy Hoffman, Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: $30M

A South African publisher of social games and interactive content across Africa started as a game studio and developed further to launch games. It opted for a hybrid model to adopt a publishing role and handling distribution, marketing and operations. Carry1st has built out a proprietary payments and e-commerce experience, which gives users the ability to pay for digital content even when they don’t have a credit card.

The South African publisher of social games and interactive content picked up $20 million Series A extension in January 2022. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and it is 16z’s first investment in an Africa-headquartered company.

Web3Auth
Image credits: Web3Auth

Web3Auth (Singapore)

Founder/s: Leonard Tan, Zen Yong
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: NA

A crypto infrastructure provider from Singapore, Torus was recently rebranded to Web3Auth. It is a non-custodial key infrastructure solution for Web3 wallets and apps that lets applications to interact with the Torus key infrastructure and is used by Ubisoft, Kukai, Skyweaver, and Binance Extension Wallet. It is built on the infrastructure to make Web3 authentication such as SMS auth, password-less auth, and other methods including Google, Discord, Twitter, and Reddit.

In January 2022, Web3Auth closed a $13 million Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India alongside participation from Union Square Ventures, Multicoin Capital, FTX, Bitcoin.com, DARMA Capital, Terabyte, Hash, KOSMOS Capital, and others. The funds will help the company simplify crypto onboarding and authentication.

Twig
Image credits: Twig

Twig (UK)

Founder/s: Geri Cupi
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: $35M

A London-based fintech – Twig targets Gen Z and younger millennial consumers with an e-money account. It provides them with instant cash-outs on electronics and fashion products that they want to sell. For now, Twig accounts are available only in the UK and it charges users £1 as a transfer fee to send money to a third-party account while there is no fee to transfer between Twig accounts.

Last month, the circular economy fintech scaleup secured $35 million in a Series A funding round led by the UK-based fintech specialist Fasanara Capital alongside current and former executives from LVMH, Valentino, Balmain, Tod’s, Swarovski, L’Oréal, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Scalapay. The investment will be used to accelerate delivering Twig’s first-of-its-kind Web 3.0 green payment infrastructure.

The Graph
Image credits: The Graph

The Graph (US)

Founder/s: Yaniv Tal, Jannis Pohlmann, Brandon Ramirez
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: $52.4M

A startup from California, The Graph is similar to Google but it indexes information that lives on blockchains. The company is an indexing and query protocol for Web3 using GraphQL. Anyone can build and publish open APIs called subgraphs, thereby making data easily accessible. It supports indexing data from 26 various blockchain networks including Ethereum, Optimism, Celo and more.

In January 2022, The Graph, the ‘Google of Blockchains’, raised $50 million in a seed funding round led by Tiger Global. The other investors including Fenbushi Capital, Blockwall Digital, Reciprocal Ventures, and FinTech Collective also took part in the round.

Mysten Labs
Image credits: Mysten Labs

Mysten Labs (US)

Founder/s: Sam Blackshear, Evan Cheng, Adeniyi Abiodun, George Danezis
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $36M

Yet another California-based Mysten Labs is a crypto and blockchain infrastructure technology startup that was founded by four former Facebook (Meta) engineers. It creates foundational infrastructure to accelerate web3 adoption. Mysten adopts the business model that many other crypto projects are following. Instead of generating revenue from products and services, the company holds tokens for various blockchains it is working with. It hopes to generate profit as its value grows.

In December 2021, Andreessen Horowitz, a private American venture capital firm led a $36 million funding round in the company to build infrastructure technology that will allow other crypto and blockchain-based companies to deliver technologies.

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