Project funding for cryptocurrency startups has peaked at 1 billion

Venture funding for cryptocurrency startups peaked at $1 billion in April, marking the second straight month above that pivotal mark this year with 161 investment rounds, signaling renewed investor interest amid the bull market.

Key trends attracting the attention of investment firms include decentralized infrastructure, enterprise adoption solutions, and “tokenization of everything,” said Xiao Xiao, partner at HashKey Capital. In written comments to Cointelegraph, Xiao discussed HashKey’s investment priorities at the moment:

“We focus on both initial investment and liquid investment. For seed investment, we prefer either late-stage projects, which will have liquidity very soon, or early-stage super projects, which have long-term value and are targeting the next cycle. For liquidity investment, we will do some alternative investments such as hedging, with lower risk and stable return.

Another area of ​​interest for HashKey is the convergence of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. “Enhanced data analytics powered by AI provides deeper market insights, superior fraud detection, and improved trading strategies, resulting in increased operational efficiency and security,” Xiao said.

Highlights from recent funding rounds include Polymarket’s $70 million in funding — backed by Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin — and Humanity Protocol, which has officially become a unicorn after a recent $30 million raise raised Its value.

This edition of Cointelegraph’s VC Report showcases startups that raised capital in May.

The Coliseum is investing $2.5 million in the pre-seed phase of the accelerator program

Colosseum, a dedicated Solana Network ecosystem, announced the first group of projects to join its accelerator program. The projects were selected from among the winners of the Renaissance Hackathon, Solana’s largest to date. The Renaissance Hackathon saw 8,300 participants across 1,071 teams. Ten projects were selected from 34 hackathon winners, each receiving $250,000 in seed capital. The program will conclude with a virtual demo day, where projects will be presented to investors and they will have access to Colosseum’s network of mentors and founders. Since the first Solana Hackathon in October 2020, participation in the event has skyrocketed, with a 1,522% increase in the number of projects submitted. Selected projects are Ore, Urani, DBunker, DeCharge, Torque, Legends of the Sun, Meshmap, Blockmesh, Banger, and Rakurai.

Volta announces $4.1M seed funding for enterprise smart wallet

Volta Circuit, a multi-sig, non-custodial smart wallet platform, has raised $4.1 million in seed funding from Fika Ventures, Haven Ventures, and other investors. The funds will be used to support the launch of infrastructure services. The startup provides a multi-signature wallet with governance and policy controls that are enforced directly on-chain, providing self-custodianship of cryptocurrencies for trading companies, asset managers and banks. Volta was founded by George Milica, former CTO of sFOX, and Daniel Kim, former head of capital markets at Maple Finance.

Hemera raises $2.6 million for Web3 data management

Hemera announced $2.6 million in funding, led by LIF Capital and Nomad Capital, with participation from SNZ and Chainlink. According to Hedera, angel investors in the round also included the founders of ZetaChain and Sending Labs, Wish co-founder Danny Zhang, and Microsoft AI CEO Harry Shum. The funds will be used to develop its decentralized protocol, which uses artificial intelligence to query data on-chain, allowing insights through a large language model (LLM) optimized for Web3. The public beta of Hemera Protocol was recently released along with the presentation app SocialScan.

Zeta Markets raises $5 million for Solana Layer-2

Zeta Markets, a Solana-based protocol for on-chain perpetuity, has raised $5 million in a strategic funding round, bringing its total funding to $13.5 million. Electric Capital led the round, which included participation from DACM, Selini Capital, Airtree Ventures, and angel investors Anatoly Yakovenko, Mert Mumtaz, and Richard Wu, among others. The funding will help the Zeta team build the first Layer 2 decentralized financial layer on Solana, according to a statement. The protocol wants to achieve the performance of a centralized exchange while maintaining the security and self-custodial nature of a decentralized exchange. The Zeta team claims that the protocol has over 100,000 monthly active users and the total trading volume has crossed the $6 billion mark.

Source: Zeta Markets

Moso Secures $2 Million for E-Commerce and Cryptocurrency Integration

Moso, a platform that combines online shopping with cryptocurrency rewards, has raised $2 million in seed funding. The round saw participation from Symbolic Capital, Dow5, Coinlist, Polygon Ventures, and several strategic angel investors. The startup is said to have established partnerships with more than 2,000 major retailers, including Walmart, eBay and Shopee, allowing users to earn cryptocurrency rewards while shopping. “Our platform is designed to democratize access to Web3 for consumers new to the space, simplifying their interaction with and leveraging decentralized technologies through the familiar path of online shopping,” said Blake Capoza, co-founder of Moso.

Crystal closes $2 million pre-funding round

Crystal Network has raised $2 million in seed funding from a diverse group of venture capital firms, including Lingfeng Capital, Cogitent Ventures, Kyro Ventures, Veris Ventures, Smape Capital, MH Ventures, Layer Labs, Pragma Ventures, Builder Capital and NxGen. Lens, Artemis Capital, and Quotient Ventures. Behind the startup are Eric Chen, former head of engineering at Tron, and Maron Zelig, former business director at Polygon. The company targets Web3 developers with its modular services platform that facilitates decentralized design and back-end deployment. The funds will be used to accelerate Crystal Network’s testnet development, expand the team, and enhance community engagement.

Zest Protocol raises $3.5 million in seed funding led by Tim Draper

Zest Protocol, a lending protocol designed for Bitcoin, has unveiled a $3.5 million seed round led by Tim Draper’s Draper Associates with participation from Binance Labs, Flow Traders, Trust Machines, Ametric, Bitcoin Frontier Fund, Gravity Fund, Primal Capital, Hyperrithm, and Mitcon Crypto. , Tykhe Block Ventures, Elixir Capital, and more. Zest Protocol wants to enable BTC holders to deploy their assets on cross-chain lending markets. According to Zest, it is using upcoming blockchain upgrades from Stacks Nakamoto and sBTC to create a Bitcoin-native lending experience. “I don’t just want to keep Bitcoin, I want to use it!” Tim Draper said in a statement about the funding round.

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