Funding Turnaround: Venture Funding Remains Hot in the Downside Crypto Market

  • A16z Puts $50 Million Into Gary Vaynerchuk’s Latest Project
  • Quasar Finance Closes $6 Million in Financing to Build on Cosmos

Continued strong volatility in cryptocurrency markets has not dampened the enthusiasm of institutional investors backing promising digital asset-focused startups.

Variant, an early stage crypto firm, has raised $450 million in two new funds. Of the total, $300 million is earmarked for an opportunistic fund and the remaining $150 million for investments in early-stage Web3 projects – particularly focused on DeFi, blockchain infrastructure, Web3 consumer applications, and proprietary companies.

The venture firm has previously invested in prominent projects including Uniswap, Polygon and Phantom.

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), meanwhile, teamed up with Gary Vaynerchuk to lead a $50 million starting round for its latest NFT collection, VeeFriends.

“From the launch of Wine Library to his success with VaynerX and Vayner Sports, Gary was one of the first entrepreneurs to take everyone on a journey through engaging, motivational and business-focused content,” 16z general partner Chris Lyons said in a statement.

VeeFriends plans to use the capital to fund the growth of its creative, technical and experiential businesses and will continue to expand its talent pool in the Web3 space.

Cosmos’ blockchain-based project Quasar Finance secured $6 million in funding from a range of companies, including Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, Figment Capital, Lightshift Capital and Galileo.

The DeFi startup allows strategists and liquidity providers to launch vaults, investors can then store their assets in the vaults and receive returns on their investments. Currently, Quasar Finance has nine employees and said the latest increase will be enough to support its business for the next two and a half years.

“We are focused on building blockchain and introducing the vault standard in Cosmos,” Valentin Pletnev, CEO and co-founder of Quasar Finance told Blockworks. “The first years of product development will be financed by this [raise].”

Other notable business rounds this week include:

  • Sweatcoin, a popular Web2 app, has raised $13 million from investors including the NEAR Foundation and Jump Capital to expand into Web3.
  • The DeFi protocol Aurigami has raised a $12 million round from private token sales and initial exchange offerings through KuCoin, Bybit and Impossible Finance.
  • Center — an open-source technology project launched by the founders of Circle and Coinbase — raised $11 million in a seed round led by Thrive Capital and Founders Fund to build a search index.
  • Space and Time, a decentralized data platform, has raised a $10 million seed round led by Framework Ventures.
  • UK-based provider of verified corporate client credentials, Gatenox, closed a $2.5 million Seed Round led by C3 VC Fund.
  • Bessie Liu

    Blockworks

    News reporter

    Bessie is a New York-based crypto reporter who previously worked as a tech journalist for The Org. She completed her master’s degree in journalism from New York University after working as a management consultant for over two years. Bessie is originally from Melbourne, Australia. You can contact Bessie at: [email protected]

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