VC Roundup: Blockchain Startups Raise $109.3M

The blockchain industry witnessed a significant financial influx this week, with 34 startups collectively amassing $109.3 million in various funding rounds. These rounds ranged from series A to grants, underscoring the sector’s dynamic growth and innovation.

Nexus Laboratories Leads with $25 Million Series A Round

Nexus Laboratories emerged as a frontrunner, securing $25 million in a series A funding round. This web3 startup focuses on zero-knowledge-powered scaling and privacy tools. The investment was co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pantera Capital, with additional backing from Dragonfly Capital, Faction Ventures, and the Blockchain Builders Fund. Previously, Nexus raised $2.2 million in a seed round in 2022. The new funds will support the development of their zero-knowledge virtual machine, Nexus 1.0.

Layer3, a New York-based company, raised $15 million in a series A funding round, the second-largest of the week. ParaFi and Greenfield Capital co-led the funding, with Electric Capital and King River also contributing. Layer3’s omnichain identity and distribution protocol streamlines user engagement and token distribution across more than 25 blockchains, serving millions globally. This funding will accelerate the adoption and innovation of their technology in the crypto space.

NEAR Foundation Spinout Nuffle Labs Raises $13 Million

Nuffle Labs, a spinout from the NEAR Foundation, secured $13 million to advance NEAR’s modularity and decentralized development. The funding came from a grant by the foundation and investments from Electric Capital, Canonical Crypto, Fabric Ventures, and Robot Ventures. Nuffle Labs plans to use NEAR’s data availability and fast finality layer products to offer rollups and enhance ecosystem development.

Ava Protocol Completes $10 Million Seed Funding

Ava Protocol, formerly known as OAK Network, completed a $10 million seed funding round, split between an initial $5.5 million round and a subsequent $4.5 million seed+ round. Investors like Electric Capital, Taisu Ventures, and Shima Capital support Ava’s vision of intent-centric, event-driven autonomous transactions for Ethereum and beyond. This funding will help develop cross-chain smart contract automation.

Irys, previously Bundlr Network, raised $8.9 million in a strategic funding round led by Lemniscap. The startup focuses on improving on-chain data management and combating misinformation. With over 1.9 billion transactions processed, Irys aims to use the funds to enhance scalability and efficiency in blockchain ecosystems.

Symbiotic Garners $5.8 Million for Shared Security Protocol

Symbiotic, a developer of a shared security protocol, secured $5.8 million in a seed round led by Paradigm and cyber.Fund. The company plans to use the funds to expand operations and development efforts, focusing on enabling decentralized networks to bootstrap sovereign ecosystems through customized restaking implementations.

Kima Network, based in Israel, announced the closure of a $5 million pre-seed funding round led by Blockchange Ventures and FinSec Innovation Lab. The startup aims to bridge traditional financial services with decentralized finance (DeFi) tools through its decentralized settlement protocol. Other backers included Outlier Ventures, Big Brain Holdings, and Maven Capital. The funds will help Kima develop its web3 settlement infrastructure.

In the backdrop of this week’s activity, Paradigm, a prominent crypto-focused venture capital firm, announced a new $850 million fund. This fund targets early-stage crypto projects. Paradigm has been an early supporter of key industry players like Uniswap, Optimism, and Flashbots. This new fund confirms Paradigm’s commitment to driving the next wave of crypto projects.

The blockchain sector continues to attract significant investment, highlighting the ongoing innovation and growth within the industry.

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