• The total money invested this week came from over 20 deals and funds, PitchBook data showed
  • Prominent venture capital firm a16z invested $70 million into DeFi staking platform Lido on Thursday

March started off strong as crypto companies and funds alike brought in another substantial week of capital, nearing a total of $1.34 billion. The total money invested this week came from over 20 deals and funds, PitchBook data showed.

The week’s biggest raise came from Electric Capital. The firm raised $1 billion to launch two funds: a $400 million venture fund and a $600 million token fund. The capital raise brings the firm into the big leagues alongside major funds such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Paradigm and 10T Holdings.

On Thursday, the prominent venture capital firm, a16z, invested $70 million into DeFi staking platform Lido. The decentralized platform offers Ethereum staking and other proof-of-stake assets to users through a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) governance structure.

The fresh funds from a16z will be used to build out its staking solution and prepare for upgrades surrounding the Ethereum transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, Jacob Blish, Lido’s head of business development and partnerships, said to Blockworks.

“The roadmap for 2022 is prioritizing the Ethereum network upgrade, researching and building out layer-2 solutions, and expanding to a number of new protocols,” Blish said.

Since 2022 started, Lido has launched liquid staking for Kusama and Polygon and plans to add Polkadot, Avalanche and Cosmos in the second half of the year, Blish noted.

In other news, a seed-stage venture capital firm, Arcanum Capital, launched its first fund of $12 million, Wednesday, to focus on blockchain technology companies in emerging markets — mainly in India. 

“We launched the fund because we wanted a vehicle to raise significant institutional capital into, to then deploy into India and make a big impact,” James McDowall, founding partner at Arcanum Capital, said to Blockworks.

The company’s fund includes prominent investors like Polygon Co-founder Sandeep Nailwal, venture capitalist Tim Draper, and Bybit’s venture capital arm, Mirana Ventures, among others. To date, Arcanum has invested about $4 million in over 20 startups.

“We are seeing blockchain technology disrupt almost every industry,” McDowall said.

“DeFi alone has trillions of dollars of market share to go at. Add in [non-fungible tokens], gaming, and decentralized applications, and it is clear that blockchain is a gargantuan technology trend in its relative infancy.”

Other notable capital raises this week include: 

  • South African crypto exchange VALR’s $50 million round
  • Thetanuts Finance closed an $18 million round to democratize DeFi-structured products
  • Pantera Capital led a $33 million round for Subspace Labs to further its Web3 efforts
  • Multicoin Capital and Jump Crypto co-led a $4.1 million seed investment in smart messaging protocol Dialect 
  • Ignite Tournaments closed a $10 million financing round to build a play-to-earn esports tournament and streaming platform

Check back next week for more funding news.

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  • Jacquelyn Melinek is a New York-based reporter covering funding, decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). She previously reported on energy markets for S&P Global Platts and Bloomberg News and is published in over 65 news outlets. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism. Contact Jacquelyn via email at [email protected]