VC roundup: blockchain startups secure $109.3m in major funding rounds

This week, the blockchain sector saw 34 startups collectively raising $109.3 million in various funding rounds, from series A to grants.

VC roundup: blockchain startups secure $109.3m in major funding rounds - 1
Crypto fundraising for week of 09 – 15, Jun 2024 | Source: Crypto Fundraising

The top funding rounds highlight a diverse range of innovative projects pushing the boundaries of web3, privacy, identity, and more. Here’s a breakdown of this week’s biggest fundraising efforts:

Nexus Laboratories secures $25m series A round

Nexus Laboratories, a web3 startup specializing in zero-knowledge-powered scaling and privacy tools, raised an impressive $25 million in a series A round. 

Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pantera Capital co-led the investment, with contributions from Dragonfly Capital, Faction Ventures, and the Blockchain Builders Fund. 

This funding follows a previous $2.2 million seed round in 2022 and, according to the company, will be used to support its development of a new zero-knowledge virtual machine called Nexus 1.0.

Layer3 raises $15m to change onchain identity

New York-based Layer3 raked in the second-highest amount of the week, closing a $15 million series A funding round.

ParaFi and Greenfield Capital co-led the effort. Electric Capital and King River also participated in the round.

Layer3’s omnichain identity and distribution protocol streamlines user engagement and token distribution across more than 25 blockchains, serving millions of users globally. According to the company, this funding will help it push for further adoption and innovation of its technology in the crypto space.

NEAR Foundation spinout Nuffle Labs garners $13m

The NEAR Foundation announced the formation of Nuffle Labs, securing $13 million in funding in the process. 

The initiative aims to advance NEAR’s modularity and promote decentralized development. The funding includes a grant from the foundation and investments from Electric Capital, Canonical Crypto, Fabric Ventures, and Robot Ventures, among others.

Nuffle Labs said it will use NEAR’s data availability and fast finally layer products to offer rollups and enhance ecosystem development.

Ava Protocol completes $10m seed funding

Ava Protocol, formerly known as OAK Network, raised $10 million in seed funding, split between an initial $5.5 million round and a subsequent $4.5 million seed+ round. 

Investors such as Electric Capital, Taisu Ventures, and Shima Capital back Ava’s vision of intent-centric, event-driven autonomous transactions for Ethereum and beyond.

This funding supports the development of cross-chain smart contract automation, enabling contracts to execute based on predefined conditions.

Irys concludes $8.9m strategic round

Irys, formerly Bundlr Network, also successfully raised $4.8 million in a strategic funding round led by Lemniscap. 

The startup focuses on improving on-chain data management and combating misinformation.

With over 1.9 billion transactions processed, it aims to use the funds to develop systems that improve the scalability and efficiency in blockchain ecosystems.

Symbiotic secures $5.8m for shared security protocol

Another crypto startup that benefited from venture capital funding this week was Symbiotic, a developer of a shared security protocol. It raised $5.8 million in a seed round led by Paradigm and cyber.Fund. 

On June 12, the company stated that it would use the funds to expand its operations and development efforts, focusing on enabling decentralized networks to bootstrap sovereign ecosystems through customized restaking implementations.

Kima Network raises $5m in pre-seed funding

Finally, Israel-based Kima Network also announced the closing of a $5 million pre-seed funding round led by Blockchange Ventures and FinSec Innovation Lab. 

The startup aims to bridge traditional financial services with decentralized finance (defi) tools through its decentralized settlement protocol. 

Other backers in the pre-seed included Outlier Ventures, Big Brain Holdings, and Maven Capital. The funds will help Kima develop its web3 settlement infrastructure.

Paradigm’s new $850m fund

This week’s crypto VC activity came against the backdrop of an announcement by Paradigm, a prominent crypto-focused venture capital firm, of a new $850 million fund. According to the company, this fund will target crypto projects in their earliest development stages. 

Reports about Paradigm raising this fund had surfaced in early April, with the June 13 announcement confirming the plans and positioning Paradigm at the forefront of the next wave of crypto projects. 

The firm has been an early supporter of key industry players like Uniswap, the decentralized exchange; Optimism, an Ethereum layer 2 solution; and Flashbots, a project focused on MEV concepts.

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