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NFTs, crypto mortgages, 5G networks and Web3 developers bring in millions

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The cryptocurrency market hasn’t made any notable advances over the past few months, but that hasn’t stopped the industry’s builders from building. Nonfungible tokens (NFTs), crypto mortgages, blockchain-powered mobile networks, and Web3 gaming have all attracted the interest of venture capitalists. These new and familiar investment themes are the focus of the latest installment of VC Roundup as venture funds continue to target blockchain’s most promising value plays.

a16z returns new NFT fund

Andreessen Horowitz’s foray into the blockchain industry continued this month after a large portion of its investment team backed a new non-fungible token fund called Curated. The fund, which is worth $30 million, has the sole purpose of buying and holding NFT artworks. Among the a16z brassers are Marc Andreessen, Arianna Simpson, Chris Dixon, Andrew Chen and John Lai, all investors in the fund. according to to TechCrunch. NFTs and traditional art are increasingly viewed as stores of value in an inflationary environment. (Interestingly, a16z has been talking about NFTs since at least 2020, which is eons ago in the crypto industry.)

Related: You don’t have to fret over NFTs

Crypto mortgage lender Milo raises $17 million

Crypto-focused fintech startup Milo has raised $17 million in Series A funding from venture firms M13, QED Investors and MetaProp. Milo will use the funding to expand its product line, which includes a 30-year term Crypto Mortgage which allows users to pledge digital assets as collateral for their home loans. Since launching in January, Milo’s 30-year mortgage has already received over 7,400 applications. The company’s first product — a mortgage solution for foreigners — processed $500 million in applications from more than 90 countries.

Crypto-friendly neobank raises $77 million

Scandinavian neobank Lunar is planning 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 (Bitcoin), ether (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Speckle (POINT) and Dogecoin (DOGE). The company’s crypto gambit reflects a growing desire to serve consumer-facing sectors in a region enjoying significant uptake in digital asset trading. According to Tech Crunch, Lunar is already there raising Capital for the next round of financing, which is expected to close in May.

FreedomFi Closes $9.5M Funding Round

Crypto-friendly 5G developer FreedomFi has raised $9.5 million in funding to power a Web3 platform that will enable consumers to crowdsource small cellular network deployments using digital assets. The Series A round was funded by Blueyard Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and Samsung Next. FreedomFi has already entered the digital assets space after partnering with the Helium blockchain in 2021 to drive broader consumer-level adoption of cellular base stations.

Web3 platform Joyride raises $14 million

Web3 gaming Platform Joyride Games recently closed a $14 million seed round funded by some of the blockchain’s largest venture funds, including BITKRAFT Ventures, SuperLayer, Coinbase Ventures, Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, and Solana Ventures . The Joyride platform is primarily aimed at developers who want to develop and launch blockchain-powered esports and social games. The company said it plans to launch the first batch of gaming projects on its platform in the near future.

Related: VC Roundup: Web3 Infrastructure Developers Attract Big Investors

Crypto Unicorns Completes $26 Million Token Sale

Web3 game developer Laguna Games has completed a $26 million token sale for its polygon-based NFT collection, Crypto Unicorns. The largest 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, the management of which will be delegated to the community over time.