Funding increased from a slow week last week from $260M to $422M. As we’ve seen all month, crypto infrastructure remains the leading interest for VCs. Infrastructure accounted for nearly half of all funding at $208M and comprised 11 of the 24 deals this week. The largest of these infrastructure deals was Sardine, a platform that provides real-time fraud prevention services for web3 and fintech companies. Sardine raised $51.5M in a Series B round led by VC giant Andreesen Horowitz. Metaverse/Gaming also had a good week, with funding increasing from $8MM last week to $86MM this week, with four total deals. Overall, each segment this week had a bump in funding from the previous week aside from NFTs, which received no funding this month.
There was one web3 related fund raised this week – Digital Transformation Capital Partners (DTCP), which raised its Growth Equity III fund of €300M from investors such as Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank. DTCP plans to invest in cloud-based enterprise software and SaaS companies in the fields such as cybersecurity, web3, AI, and fintech.
Deals have remained concentrated in the early stages all year, although we saw a slight uptick in some of the later stages this week. Seed Round deals still accounted for most of the deals at 29.2%, while Series A and Series B made up 12.5% and 16.7% of deals, respectively.
Deal of The Week:
Immunefi, web3’s leading bug bounty platform, protecting $100 billion in user funds, has raised $24 million in a Series-A deal led by Framework Ventures. Other investors include Electric Capital, Polygon Ventures, Samsung Next, and North Island Ventures. Immunefi offers the world’s largest bug bounties, claiming to have paid out more than $60 million in bounties and avoiding over $25 billion in hack damage for web3 companies.
Why is this the Deal of The Week?
Hacks and exploits have sadly become commonplace in the crypto industry, causing a lot of investors to lose significant sums of money. In a report published by Chainalysis, it is estimated that the total funds lost to crypto hacks in 2021 totaled over $3 billion. The frequency and size of these hacks highlight the need for better security across the industry. Ensuring the safety of funds is paramount in convincing outside capital to invest in web3.
Immunefi offers hackers and projects a mutually beneficial service. With Immunefi’s significant bug bounties, its “Whitehat Army” is incentivized to scrutinize protocols’ code in a non-malicious manner while getting paid if they find a vulnerability. Protocols will continue to come to Immunefi to identify any weaknesses in their code and prevent exploits down the line. Additionally, upon completing a successful bug bounty program, users can have a heightened sense of security while interacting with the protocol. Immunefi recognizes the glaring issue plaguing the industry and is ready to capitalize. CEO Mitchell Amador said, “We’re using this raise to scale our team to meet this massive demand.”
3Commas is an infrastructure-based platform aiming to create the leading automated cryptocurrency trading bot. The platform accomplishes this through machine learning, artificial intelligence, and analyzing the historical performance of trading strategies. The company has secured $37M in funding through its Series B round co-led by Alameda Research, Target Global, Jump Capital, and Dmitry Tokarev. 3Commas intends to use the capital raised for workforce expansion, ecosystem development, and the launch of DeCommas, a subsidiary that provides easier access to automated trading for decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.
Vulcan Forged ($PYR) is a decentralized application (dApp) incubator and blockchain-based game studio. Having already released popular titles such as Forge Arena, Berserk, and VulcanVerse, the studio is committed to developing additional entertaining and engaging games for players. The company has secured $8M in funding through its Series A round led by SkyBridge Capital. The deal also includes an additional investment option of $33M. Vulcan Forged intends to use the capital raised to scale its operations in key markets and fast-track the growth of MetaScapes, a metaverse-based play-to-earn game.
Sardine is an infrastructure-based platform that provides real-time fraud prevention services for web3 and fintech companies. The platform accomplishes this by using various measures, including transaction monitoring, device intelligence, and bank account history. Notable customers of the service include Blockchain.com and FTX. The company has secured $51.5M in funding through its Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). In addition, the funding round also included investor participation from Google Ventures, Visa, ConsenSys, Uniswap Labs Ventures, and others. Sardine intends to use the capital raised to fast-track marketing plans and product development.
Yellow Card is an African-based cryptocurrency exchange aiming to become increasingly accessible. Since the exchange raised $15M in funding through its Series A round in August 2021, it has expanded to 16 African countries. The company has secured $40M in funding through its Series B round led by Polychain Capital. In addition, the funding round also included investor participation from Valar Ventures, Fabric Ventures, Castle Island Ventures, and others. Yellow Card intends to use the capital raised towards product development, continental expansion, and the creation of new partnerships.
Headquarters is a platform aiming to simplify financial operations for web3-based companies. The platform plans to accomplish this through HQ teams, a dashboard product that gives its users increased control and visibility over their fiat and on-chain activities. The company has secured $5M in funding through a pre-seed round co-led by Crypto.com, MassMutual Ventures, and Forge Ventures. In addition, the funding round also included investor participation from Longhash Ventures, Saison Capital, 500 Startups, and others. Headquarters intends to use the capital raised to fast-track product development.