Crypto funding: A $72M week for cross-chain oracles, NFT merchandise 

Eight crypto startups raised $72.2 million this week, with the largest sum going to a firm that’s developing a cross-chain oracle solution. 

Supra raised $24 million in early-stage private investing rounds from Animoca, Coinbase Ventures, HashKey and over a dozen others. 

Supra’s cross-chain tools are available on over 40 testnets, including Aptos, Arbitrum, BNB Chain and others, its website says. Supra will also be airdropping a native token, which will be distributed to funds, investors and node operators. 

Investors this week also capitalized on the marriage of NFTs and apparel. 

Web3 startup IYK, which stands for “If You Know,” announced a nearly $17 million fundraise from lead investor a16z Crypto, Collab Currency, Lattice Capital, 1kx, Synergis Capital and others. 

IYK’s mission is to embed NFC (near-field communication) chips within merchandise or apparel items. This would allow customers to tap their smartphone on the chip and instantly confirm an item’s authenticity. IYK then gives them NFTs in exchange. 

IYK’s clients so far include VÉRITÉ, an independent musician, 9dcc, and Adidas. Adidas and IYK partnered during NFT NYC 2023 for an exclusive limited shirt release that yielded 152 shirts. 

Beacon chain explorer, upcoming layer-2 raise funds

Rated Labs raised more than $12 million in a Series A round. The firm is behind the Rated Network Explorer, which keeps tabs on Ethereum beacon chain validators and provides data on participation rate, inclusion delay, and correctness percentage.

Archetype led the round with additional participation from Placeholder, 1confirmation, Cherry and Semantic. 

With the fresh cash, Rated Labs plans to improve its explorer tool, which was its first product. It also will develop a new API console and launch credentials for node operators. 

Separately, the team behind the soon-to-launch layer-2 network Fhenix secured $7 million in seed funding. The round was led by Multicoin Capital and Collider Ventures with added support from Node Capital, Robot Ventures, Bankless, HackVC, TaneLabs and Metaplanet, among others.

Fhenix plans to launch its testnet, which will employ fully homomorphic encrypted smart contracts, in early 2024.

Read more: Encryption startup Fhenix raises $7M for private computation

Fhenix CEO Guy Itzhaki told Blockworks FHE is different from zero-knowledge proofs, where data is moved off-chain where the decrypted message can be seen by a prover. 

“With FHE, it’s really the first time that we can have data on-chain, encrypted, and being used as if it’s non-encrypted for the sake of confidentiality,” Itzhaki said. 

Other notable fundraises

  • Avantis Labs, a DeFi derivatives trading platform, raised $4 million in a seed round led by Pantera Capital.
  • AnchorWatch, an institutional custody provider and insurer, got $3 million to continue managing risk for  firms holding bitcoin. 
  • DeFi portfolio manager Bril Finance locked down $3 million from FalconX, Kosmos Ventures, and the Algorand Foundation.
  • Pimlico raised $1.6 million in pre-seed money to build infrastructure for smart accounts, a concept borne out of ERC-4337. 
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