Crypto funding: Startups raise $115M across gaming, custody, and institutional services

As the summer season officially concludes this Saturday, the outlook for crypto fundraising appears promising heading into the fall.

Eleven crypto startups raised a combined total of $115.5 million across a variety of disciplines this week. Gaming, though, took the cake. 

Proof of Play, which describes itself as an on-chain game studio, raised $33 million in seed funding on Thursday. 

Numerous angel investors participated in the round, including Balaji Srinivasan, Justin Kan and many others. 

A16z’s crypto arm led the round, giving high praise to Proof of Play founder Amitt Mahajan. Mahajan is no stranger to gaming, having co-created Farmville, the farming simulator that took Facebook by storm in 2009. 

“Amitt and the entire Proof of Play team are committed to a gaming future where composability, interoperability and permanence are at the core of gameplay: you own your assets, and anyone can create their own game on top of another,” a16z wrote in a blog post announcing the fresh funding. 

Proof of Play’s first game, Pirate Nation, is a role playing title that has NFT functionality and allows for developers to build on top of it thanks to “on-chain game contracts.” The game, which was released back in December, was built on Ethereum and Arbitrum Nova.

Custody and digital assets infrastructure put up big numbers

A16z crypto also had its hand in raising $25 million for a startup called Bastion this week. 

The firm, which emerged from stealth on Monday, is aiming to offer crypto custody, wallet management and digital asset trading mostly to corporations, Bloomberg reported.

Nomura’s Laser Digital Ventures, Robot Ventures, Not Boring Capital and others kicked in capital to support the seed round. 

Bastion was co-founded by two former a16z crypto executives. Riyaz Faizullabhoy and Nassim Eddequiouaq used to serve as the venture capital firm’s chief technology officer and chief security officer, respectively.

Separately, Jiritsu, a verifiable computing provider, raised $10.2 million from gumi Cryptos Capital with participation from Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, LLLP, Republic Capital, and others. 

Alongside the eight-figure raise, Jiritsu is pioneering its asset tokenization platform called Tomei RWA. The platform uses zero-knowledge attestations to better manage crypto assets. 

Other notable fundraises

  • Fuze, which operates chiefly in the Middle East and North Africa, raised $14 million to give financial institutions the ability to offer regulated digital assets products to customers.
  • Briya secured $11.5 million in a series A round led by Team8. The company offers a blockchain-secured healthcare data exchange platform.
  • CoinScan, which bills itself as a competitor to cryptocurrency data sites like CoinMarketCap, raised $6.3 million in part from a DraftKings billionaire shareholder.
  • GRVT, a crypto exchange boasting features from CEXs and DEXs, raised $5 million in a seed round at a $39 million valuation. 
  • Freatic emerged from stealth with $3.6 million in seed money to build “a decentralized ecosystem for information exchange.”
  • On-chain intelligence provider Bubblemaps raised 3 million euros ($3.2 million) in an oversubscribed seed round.  
  • Orb Technology, the team that built the Lens Protocol-based social platform Orb, successfully closed a $2.3 million pre-seed round with help from Superscrypt and others.
  • Decentralized hackathon platform BeWater raised $1 million in an angel round. 
  • Alums from Sino Global, Coinbase and Libra started a $60 million Web3 fund called Oak Grove Ventures.
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