The cryptocurrency market hasn’t made significant progress in recent months, but that hasn’t stopped industry builders from building. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), crypto mortgages, blockchain-powered cellular networks, and Web3 games have all attracted interest from venture capitalists. These new and familiar investment themes headline the latest edition of the VC Roundup, as venture capital funds continue to target blockchain’s most promising value games.
a16z executives back new NFT fund
Andreessen Horowitz’s foray into the blockchain industry continued this month after much of his investment team backed a new non-fungible token fund called Curated. The fund, worth $30 million, has the sole purpose of purchasing and conserving NFT artwork. Of the a16z brass, Marc Andreessen, Arianna Simpson, Chris Dixon, Andrew Chen and John Lai are all investors in the fund, according to Tech Crunch. NFTs and traditional art are increasingly seen as stores of value in an inflationary environment. (Interestingly, a16z has been talking about NFTs for at least 2020, which goes back eons in the crypto industry.)
How are Crypto Marketplaces and NFTs Changing the Game for Creators? Listen to our Q&A with the artists @muratpak and @sigggnasty for an introduction to the token-based creator economy: https://t.co/Lj42leSkfa
— a16z (@a16z) November 22, 2020
Related: You don’t need to be mad at NFTs
Crypto Mortgage Lender Milo Receives $17 Million
Crypto-focused fintech startup Milo has raised $17 million in Series A funding from venture capital firms M13, QED Investors and MetaProp. Milo will use the funding to advance its suite of product offerings, which includes a 30-year crypto mortgage that allows users to put up digital assets as collateral for their home loans. Since its launch in January, Milo’s 30-year mortgage has already received more than 7,400 applications. The company’s first product – a mortgage solution for foreign nationals – has processed $500 million in applications from more than 90 countries.
The crypto-friendly neobank raises $77 million
Scandinavian neobank Lunar plans to launch a new cryptocurrency platform and business-to-business service after raising $77 million at a $2 billion valuation. The crypto-trading service will initially focus on just five assets: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT) and Dogecoin (DOGE). The company’s crypto bet reflects a growing desire to serve more consumer-focused sectors in a region that has seen massive adoption of digital asset trading. According to Tech Crunch, Lunar is already raising capital for its next funding round, which is expected to close in May.
FreedomFi Closes $9.5M Funding Round
Crypto-enabled 5G developer FreedomFi has raised $9.5 million in funding to advance a Web3 platform that allows consumers to crowdsource small-cell networks using digital assets. The Series A round was funded by Blueyard Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Samsung Next. FreedomFi has already made inroads into the digital asset space, having partnered with the Helium blockchain in 2021 to advance the broader adoption of cellular base stations at the consumer level.
Web3 platform Joyride raises $14 million
Web3 gaming platform Joyride Games recently closed a $14 million seed round which was funded by some of the biggest blockchain venture capital funds including BITKRAFT Ventures, SuperLayer, Coinbase Ventures, Animoca Brands , Dapper Labs and Solana Ventures. The Joyride platform is primarily for developers who want to create and launch blockchain-based esports and social games. The company said it plans to launch the first batch of game projects on its platform in the near future.
Describe Web3 in 3 words.
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) March 8, 2022
Related: VC Roundup: Web3 Infrastructure Developers Attract Major Investors
Crypto Unicorns Completes $26 Million Token Sale
Web3 game developer Laguna Games has completed a $26 million token sale for its Polygon Crypto Unicorns-based NFT collection. The biggest buyers included TCG, Backed VC, ACME Capital, BITKRAFT Ventures, Delphi Digital, Polygon Studios, and CoinFund, among others. Laguna Games said that all funds raised will be allocated to the Crypto Unicorns DAO Treasury, whose governance will be transferred to the community over time.