Gaming, crypto fintech and blockchain infrastructure dominate venture capital rounds

Cryptocurrency markets remain locked in a macro-based downtrend, with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) showing further signs of weakness in late April. But venture capital activity in the crypto and blockchain sectors is at an all-time high, providing further evidence that major investors are looking beyond the immediate price action and ignoring divisive bull/bear narratives. The latest issue of VC Roundup highlights the growing excitement surrounding Web3 gaming, decentralized finance (DeFi) and blockchain infrastructure.

The first quarter of 2022 was brutal for crypto prices, but venture capital activity was the strongest ever.

bloXroute secures $70 million from major investors

Blockchain distribution network provider bloXroute has raised $70 million in funding to continue developing scalable infrastructure services for the cryptocurrency and DeFi industries. The Series B funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from Dragonfly Capital, Jane Street, ParaFi Capital, Blindspot, GSR and others. The company recently launched its Blockchain Distribution Network, which aims to overcome network congestion to provide users with reliable information about buy and sell orders.

The HBAR Foundation is raising a $50 million fintech innovation fund

The Hedera ecosystem sponsor, the HBAR Foundation, has raised a $50 million fund to incentivize Hedera-focused development work around central bank digital currencies (CBDC), stablecoins, remittance services, micropayments and asset tokenization. The Fintech and Payments Fund is now seeking proposals for these and other finance-based integrations. At the time of writing, Hedera was the 35th most valuable blockchain network, according to CoinMarketCap, with a total market cap of $3.2 billion.

Related: The HBAR Foundation raises a $250 million Metaverse fund to improve consumer brand adoption

Crypto industry heavyweights support decentralized venture studio

Web3 venture studio Decent Labs has partnered with BlockTower Capital, Digital Currency Group and others to launch a new incubator ecosystem for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) called Decent DAO. Backers provided a total of $10 million in on-chain investment to the initiative, valued at $56 million. Decent DAO wants to solve a major problem that plagues many decentralized autonomous organizations – namely a lack of proper governance and leadership – and has developed a system to ensure that all project backers are fully invested in the space.

a16z leads $34 million spruce raise

Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, led a $34 million funding round for decentralized identity startup Spruce. Ethereal Ventures, Electric Capital and Y Combinator also participated in the Series A funding round. Spruce is developing a protocol that will allow users to control their personal information in the Web2 and Web3 economy. Spruce has also partnered with the Ethereum Foundation to develop a new authentication method for Ethereum accounts and ENS profiles.

Gaming industry veterans raise funds for Web3 Studio

Gaming industry professionals formerly of EA, Disney and Epic Games have raised $4 million for Playmint, a new venture studio developing massively multiplayer on-chain games, also known as MMOCG. The seed round was led by BITKRAFT Ventures with participation from Ethereal Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Play Ventures and 1kx. Playmint’s first title is called The crypta loot-based dungeon game built on top of the blockchain.

Related: Animoca Brands is big on MMORPG blockchain games

GamerGains Closes $5.8M Seed Round Backed by Winklevoss Capital

Developer GamerGains Labs has closed a $5.8 million seed round to support the development of a cryptocurrency-based play-and-earn (P2E) platform. Unlike other crypto-focused developers, GamerGains is building a platform for traditional PC and console gamers, allowing players to earn crypto and token rewards for typical gameplay. The funding round was backed by some of blockchain’s largest venture studios, including Tiger Global, FTX, Winklevoss Capital, CMS Holdings and BlockFi.

Blockchain developer Venly raises $23 million

Belgian technology provider Venly wants to bring more industries to blockchain and has secured $23 million in Series A investments to power this initiative. The funding round was led by Courtside Ventures with participation from Transcend Fund, Coinbase Ventures, Tioga Capital and others. The company, which develops tools and APIs that enable Web2 companies to leverage Web3 technology, mainly focuses on game publishers and e-commerce companies. Its API (Application Programming Interface) platform has been used by Shopify and The Sandbox, among others.

Related: Crypto Biz: If you think crypto is bearish, don’t pay attention April 21-27, 2022 Raises $6M Series A Funding Round

Decentralized finance platform has raised funds to continue building its consumer-facing DeFi products and tools. The platform allows DeFi users to connect their crypto wallets and earn income from their Bitcoin, Ether and other holdings. The funding round, secured by a combination of crypto and fiat, was led by Libertus Capital, with additional participation from several crypto industry angel investors.