2022 started on a positive note for the entire crypto space, but it hasn’t been without mixed reactions tailing the series of unprecedented events, such as cryptocurrency’s non-partisan role in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Despite the challenges faced in the emerging industry, several projects have piqued the interest of investors, and all indications led to a highly productive Q1 2022, ending March.
January notably marked a record-breaking month for crypto investments, with approximately $5.3 billion invested in total. In the same vein, March saw similar successes, following closely behind with over $4.83 billion, while February trailed with only about $1.28 billion in crypto investments, bringing the total cumulative investment amount for Q1 2022 to approximately $11.7 billion.
With that in mind, this article will examine the inflow of cryptocurrency funding in the first quarter of 2022, as well as the sources of these funds. While only the top five funded projects per month of the first quarter will be examined, we will also highlight the sources and quantities of funding received by other projects on this list.
The Top 5 Funded Crypto Projects in January
5. Animoca Brands – $358.8 million (pending KKR – set to up the funding round to $500 million)
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Animoca Brands is a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification. Predominantly acting as a blockchain and cryptocurrency firm, Animoca Brands is popular for developing and publishing a broad portfolio of products, including the REVV and SAND tokens.
In its latest milestone, the 2014-founded startup announced the capture of $358.8 million to bolster the non-fungible token (NFT) industry, as well as to “build the open metaverse.”
While the latest funding round, led by Liberty City Venture, trails its previous $64 million and $138.88 million rounds of 2021, it has served to push the company’s overall valuation to a new high of $5 billion.
4. FTX.US – $400 million
FTX.US is a subsidiary of FTX.com (global), and as the name implies, the former is limited to U.S. residents. However, while the division is generally treated as a company of its own, the crypto exchange recorded yet another milestone after it raised $400 million to achieve an $8 billion valuation.
Although the founding was closed as ‘Series A’ for FTX U.S, it was announced as ‘Series C’ for the overall firm of FTX Trading Limited, whose overall valuation has now grown to a new high of $32 billion.
The latest round for the rapidly-growing exchange saw participation from the likes of Paradigm, Temasek, NEA, Multicoin Capital, Tribe Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, amongst others.
The latest round is said to be the third-in-a-row for FTX global over the previous 6 months ending January 2022, thereby bringing the total amount raised to an astonishing $1.8 billion as FTX’s valuation increased by over 75% throughout the same period.
3. Fireblocks – $550 million
Based in New York, Fireblocks is a digital asset infrastructure provider that supports over 800 major institutions, as well as powering several digital asset and crypto products for some of the largest custodians, fintechs, crypto exchanges, lending desks, super apps, and asset management firms.
The 2018-founded startup, announced to have raised $550 million in Series E funding round on the 27th of January, catalyzing its current valuation of $8 billion. According to a press release, the new resources will enable the barely four-year-old startup to pursue its mission to “help every business become a crypto business.”
The latest round was co-led by D1 Capital Partners and Spark Capital, with participation from several venture capital firms including General Atlantic, Index Ventures, Mammoth, CapitalG (Alphabet’s independent growth fund), Altimeter, Iconiq Strategic Partners, Canapi Ventures, and Parafi Growth Fund
2. Checkout.com – $1.07 billion
On January 12th, Global payment processor Checkout.com announced the acquisition of one billion dollars in a Series D funding round.
With participation from primary investors including Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Insight Partners, the Qatar Investment Authority, Tiger Global, the Oxford Endowment Fund, etc, the latest round sent the company’s valuation to a new high of $40 billion, up from the $15 billion previously recorded after it raised $450 million at the same time in the preceding year.
The 2012-founded startup offers a full-stack online platform that simplifies payments processes for large global enterprise merchants. The newly added resources will support the firm’s mission of enabling businesses and their communities to thrive in the evolving digital economy.
1. Citadel Securities – $1.15 billion (plans to pivot into crypto)
Electronic market maker and stock trading giant Citadel Securities, landed what could be described as its first “external investment” in January. The latest round, worth $1.15 billion, was co-led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and cryptocurrency investor Paradigm, pushing the company’s overall valuation to approximately $22 billion.
Founded in 2001, Citadel Securities handles up to 30% of all trading done in the U.S. including equities, fixed income, and a possible plan to include crypto on the list.
“Our partnership with Sequoia and Paradigm puts us in an even stronger position as we continue to scale our business, broaden into new markets and attract the world’s most brilliant minds,” said Citadel Securities CEO Peng Zhao in a statement.
Other funding from the month of January included:
- HAL – $3 million (Led by CoinFund, Eden Block, and Animoca Brands.)
- STEPN – $5 million (Investors include Sequoia Capital, Alameda Research, 6th Man Research, Morningstar Ventures, DeFi Alliance, and others.)
- Seashell – $6 million ( Co-led by Khosla Ventures and Kindred Ventures,)
- Flip – $6.5 million (co-led by Distributed Global and Chapter One)
- Byte Trading – $7 million (Co-led by Robinhood and N26 with participation from Possible Ventures, L1 Digital, and D4 Ventures.)
- SuperDAO – $10.5 million (Backed by AllianceDAO, Signal Fire, Pear VC, DIGITAL and One Block Capital.)
- Cion Digital – $12 million (Led by Green Visor Capital and 645 Ventures.)
- Stader Labs – $12.5 million (led by Three Arrows Capital with additional participation from Blockchain.com, Accomplice, DACM, GoldenTree Asset Management, and others)
- Livepeer – $20 million (Led by Alan Howard, Tiger Global with participation from existing investors.)
- Inflection – $40.7 million (Investors include Accolade Partners, Evanston Capital, Isomer, Hutt Capital, Multiple Capital, Christian Angermeyer’s Presight Partners, Galaxy Digital, and others)
- Metaplex Foundation – $46 million (Co-led by Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto)
- DeFi Alliance – $50 million (Led by 300 Web 3 Leaders)
- Serum Community Foundation – $75 million (Backed by Tiger Global, Commonwealth Asset Management, Tagus Capital, executives at Golden Tree Asset Management, and others)
- Sygnum – $90 million (Led by Sun Hung Kai & Co., a Hong Kong-listed financial services company)
- CoinTracker – $100 million (led by Accel, with participation from new and previous investors including General Catalyst, Initialized Capital, Y Combinator Continuity, and others)
- Global Processing Services – $100 million (Backed by Singapore investor Temasek and U.S. firm MissionOG )
- Zero Hash – $105 million (Backers include Bain Capital, NYCA, and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures)
- Phantom – $109 million (Led by Paradigm)
- Lukka – $110 million (Led by Marshall Wace with participation from old and new investors including Miami International Holdings, Inc., Summer Capital, SiriusPoint Ltd., Soros Fund Management, Liberty City Ventures, S&P Global, and CPA.com)
- SEBA – $120 million (Co-led by a consortium of three investment firms — Altive, Ordway Selections, and Summer Capital — and DeFi Technologies.)
- iTrust Capital – $125 million (led by NYC-based growth equity firm Left Lane Capital. )
- NEAR – $150 million (Led by Three-Arrows Capital with participation from Mechanism Capital, Dragonfly Capital, a16z, Jump, Alameda and Circle Ventures, among others.)
- Blockdaemon – $207 million (led by Sapphire and Tiger Global, with participation from existing investors SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Boldstart Ventures, StepStone Group, and others)
- OpenSea – $300 million (Led by Paradigm and Coatue)
Estimated Total Funding in January: $5.33 billion
The Top 5 Funded Crypto Projects in February
5. Tribal Credit – $60 million
Tribal Credit is a San Francisco based fintech startup that facilitates B2B payments, while also doubling as a financing platform for emerging markets. In February, the company announced via a press release that it had raised $60 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank Latin America Fund.
The latest round also saw participation from Coinbase Ventures, who joined prominent investors such as BECO Capital, QED Investors, and Rising Tide. The press statement further revealed that, aside from the funding round, other strategic participants like Circle Ventures, AGE Fund, Third Prime, Canas Capital, and Acuity Ventures were able to join through secondary share acquisition.
While the 2016-founded startup boasts a growing customer base across 22 countries, it claims that the generous funding will enable its expansion across Latin America as it continues to build its local teams in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Chile.
4. Dune Analytics – $69.42 billion
Headquartered in Norway, Dune Analytic is a Web 3.0 analytic platform which recently attained ‘Unicorn’ status after raising $69.42 million in a Series B funding round.
Led by hedge fund Coatue Management, the round saw participation from investors including Multicoin Capital and Dragonfly Capital.
The 2018-founded startup became popular for helping its users create data charts and dashboards for metrics cutting across DEX and NFT trading volumes. Currently the platform boasts 10,000 analysts and at least 100,000 pieces of analysis.
3. Aleo – $200 million
The third-highest rise for the month of February was made by Aleo, a leading platform for the building of private blockchain-based applications. In a press statement, the 2019-founded startup revealed the addition of $200 million from a Series B funding round, pushing its overall valuation to approximately $1.45 billion.
According to the release, the round was led by Kora Management LP and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from Tiger Global, Sea Capital, Slow Ventures, Samsung Next, and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
These new resources have brought the startup’s total amount raised close to $230 million, which it will reportedly use to facilitate the expansion of products and services built on private-by-default, blockchain-based platforms.
Aleo notably uses a cutting-edge technology called ‘zero-knowledge cryptography’ which enables developers to build decentralized applications that offer end-users personalized Web 3.0 services – without sacrificing control of their personal data. Unlike other blockchains such as Ethereum, Aleo transactions are processed off-chain, and only verified (rather than executed and re-executed) by network nodes.
As such, platforms which implement Aleo’s infrastructure are able to support a higher volume of transactions, and empower their developers to create dApps capable of addressing complex, real-world use cases that currently require centralized servers, all while complying with relevant laws.
2. Compute North – $385 million
A Leader in sustainable, large-scale computing infrastructure, Compute North announced that it had closed a $385 million round in February as part of what it described as “strategic funding for TIER 0™ computing infrastructure.”
The funding consisted of $85 million from the initial Series C equity closing, and $300 million in debt financing, co-led by Mercuria and Generate Capital, alongside participation from other investors such as National Grid Partners.
While these new resources will help Compute North to remain a premier leader as a TIER 0™ computing infrastructure provider, it will continue to support the development of new U.S.-based data centers, expanding their capacity and enabling further growth.
1. Polygon – $450 million
Polygon, a secondary scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain, established by three Indian nationals, recorded the largest round seen in the month of February. The decentralized blockchain network announced that it had closed a $450 million crypto funding round, bringing its total valuation to $20 billion.
Led by Sequoia Capital India, the latest round saw participation from SoftBank venture capital, Tiger Global, Galaxy Digital, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm Seven Seven Six.
While the funds were raised through the private sale of the network’s native token – MATIC, they will reportedly be utilized to facilitate Polygon’s endeavour to boost its gaming and NFT presence.
Other funding from the month of February included:
- Assange DAO – $6 million (Led by DAO)
- Blitmap – $12 million (Led by Paradigm)
- Zebec – $15 million ( led by Solana Ventures and Distributed Global with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Circle, Coinbase, etc. )
- Rainbow – $18 million (led by Seven Seven Six, the VC fund set up by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian)
- OpenNode – $20 million (led by UK-based firm Kingsway and with additional investment from Twitter, Tim Draper, and Avon Ventures,)
- Foxbit – $21 million (Led by OK Group, owner of crypto exchange Okcoin.)
- Aligned – $34 million (Investors include GSR, Altium Capital and Cavalry Fund, as well as individual investors like film producer Happy Walters.)
Estimated Total Funding in February: $1.28 billion
The Top 5 Funded Crypto Projects in March
5. Roofstock – $240 million
Following its recent venture into the blockchain space, Roofstock, a leading end-to-end online platform for single-family rental (SFR) investing, announced in March that it had raised $240 million in its Series E equity finance round, Thus bringing the company’s overall valuation to $1.94 billion.
The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from existing and new investors including Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, Canvas Ventures, Citi Ventures, First American Financial, Expanding Capital, 7GC & Co., JLL Spark, SVB Capital, The Private Shares Fund, Masco Ventures, Newton Investment Management North America, Pegasus Tech Ventures, CAZ Investments, Moving Capital (aka Uber Alumni Investment Club) and DoorDash Angels.
With the new resources arriving at a time of need, they will surely help the company introduce more industry-leading solutions to the market. Notably, Roofstock is currently exploring a blockchain solution to enable the tokenization of Roofstock One shares and other SFR-related products.
A portion of the new resources will also be dedicated to doubling the size of the Roofstock team, as well as to the development of products and services to optimize portfolios, while providing capital for additional strategic M&A.
4. ConsenSys – $450 million
ConsenSys, a blockchain software technology company, raised $450 million in a Series D funding round, bringing its valuation to a new all-time high of $7 billion. In its official press release, ConsenSys revealed that the latest round was led by ParaFi Capital, marking the firm’s second commitment since it made its debut investment in the company’s Series C round.
However, ParaFi wasn’t alone, as the latest round also saw participation from new investors, including Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Microsoft, Anthos Capital, Sound Ventures, and C Ventures. Series C investors — Third Point, Marshall Wace, TRUE Capital Management, and UTA VC, United Talent Agency’s venture fund
While ConsenSys are reckoned to be a pioneer in creating foundational software for the next iteration of the internet, Web 3.0, the funding received will facilitate its goal of boosting the adoption of Web 3.0 around the world.
3. Yuga Labs – $450 million
Yuga Labs, the creators behind the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club, raised $450 million in a Series Seed funding round in March. According to a press release, the startup’s latest round was led by a16z crypto, with additional participation from top tier game studios like Animoca Brands and its subsidiary, The Sandbox.
Strategic partners like LionTree, Sound Ventures, and Thrive Capital, as well as crypto leaders like FTX and MoonPay, among others, also made their presence known during the investment round.
While the new resources have stretched Yuga’s current valuation to $4 billion, it has also given the company the ability to swiftly market the new products currently in the works. In addition to the, the funding will also aid in the onboarding of new partners with strategic views that match Yuga’s vision
2. Electric Capital – $1 billion
San Francisco-based, crypto venture capital firm, Electric Capital raised $1 billion in capital funding to subsidize crypto networks, Web 3.0 protocols, and blockchain-enabled businesses. The latest funding makes Electric Capital one of a prestigious handful of the largest, independent, crypto native VC firms in the world.
With the latest funding round now complete, Electric Capital will continue to invest a median sum of between $1 million and $20 million in equity and tokens across various areas including:
- Platforms and protocols that support new communities powered by NFTs and DAOs.
- Decentralized Web 3.0 infrastructure that allows engineers to build the next generation of applications without a central point of failure or control.
- Decentralized Finance that democratizes access to financial products.
- Accessible user experiences that onboard millions of users to Web 3.0.
1. Katie Haun’s Haun Venture – $1.5 billion
The largest amount of crypto funding acquired in the first quarter of the year went to Katie Haun, who recently resigned from Andreessen Horowitz in order to establish her own crypto-focused VC firm. Haun made headlines after she revealed a $1.5 billion seed investment for her new establishment.
The recently disclosed resources will be split into two, according to Haun, who is now the Founding CEO of Haun Ventures. The first portion is a $500 million seed fund, while the other is a $1 billion fund dedicated to more established companies focused on the Web 3.0 sector, a more decentralized vision of the internet powered by blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Other funding from the month of February included:
- TIE – $9 million ( lEDby Blizzard, with participation from executives at Golden Tree Asset Management, NYDIG, Hudson River Trading, Republic Capital, Gemini Frontier Fund and Nexo, among others.)
- Space Runners – $10 million ( Co-led by Pantera Capital and Polychain Capital.)
- WalletConnect – $11 million (Co-led by Union Square Ventures and 1kx )
- Blur – $11 million ( Ledby Paradigm)
- Magic Eden – $27 million (Led by Paradigm with participation from Sequoia Capital, Solana Ventures, Greylock Partners, Electric Capital, etc. )
- Stanford Researchers – $32 million ( led by Greylock Partners and Electric Capital with participation from Sequoia Capital, Blockchain Capital, and Slow Ventures. )
- VALR – $50 million (Led by Pantera Capital with participation from Alameda Research, Cadenza, CMT Digital, Coinbase Ventures, etc.)
- HEX Trust – $88 million (Co-led by Animoca Brands and Liberty City Ventures)
- Mina Ecosystem – $92 million (Led by FTX Ventures and Three Arrows Capital)
- StarkWare – $100 million (Unidentified.)
- DAO5 – $125 million (Led by private investors)
- Immutable – $200 million ( Led by Singaporean state-owned investment firm Temasek with participation from Animoca Brands and Tencent.)
- Binance.US – $200 million (Investors included RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck, Circle Ventures, Gaingels and Gold House.)
- ClearBank – $230 million (Led by private equity advisory firm Apax Digital.)