Crypto Funding: $118M for a Web3 Education Platform and DeFi Protocol

NFTs, SFTs and a self custodial wallets all got a little love this week

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piotr szczepanek/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Crypto startup funding eased up to just over $118 million this week, with about 15 companies comprising the total. That’s down from last week’s haul of $169 million

iZUMi Finance, a liquidity-as-a-service DeFi protocol, was near the top of the pack in fundraising, closing a $22 million round Wednesday. It was led by Unicode Digital, NextGen Digital Venture, Bella Protocol, Incuba Alpha, among other individual investors, according to a press release. 

The protocol is multichain supported on Ethereum, BNB Chain and Arbitrum. Additionally, this injection of cash will provide liquidity for iZUMi’s new order book DEX product called iZiSwap Pro, which will run on the zkSync Era network. 

iZUMi also announced that it’s jumping into the world of semi-fungible tokens (SFTs). It’s issuing an SFT called “iZUMi zk-Fund” along with its strategic partner Solv Protocol. Blockworks previously reported that SFTs are mostly used in blockchain-based games and act like fungible tokens until they are used. 

iZUMi’s SFTs will “have a cover image, like NFTs, and are computable like ERC-20 tokens,” and investors will be able to track their assets’ price fluctuations in real time via a dashboard, a press release said.

A focus on education on Web3

TinyTap, a Web3 edtech platform and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, raised $8.5 million to support its already successful Web2 platform and expand its Web3 presence. The venture round featured investors such as Sequoia China, Liberty City Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Shima Capital, Polygon, GameFi Ventures, and others.

The company’s Publisher NFTs, which were launched in 2022, represent a new way for teachers to earn income from their profession. Educational content creators can already make courses containing a bundle of games on the TinyTap platform, and once the course is packaged into a Publisher NFT, investors can buy it. 

According to a statement from TinyTap, “when these NFTs are sold, the proceeds are shared with the course creators, and the NFT buyers assume the role of co-publishers. In return for promoting and marketing the associated courses, the buyers share in the benefits generated from co-publishing efforts.”

Naomi Ashkenazi, CMO of TinyTap, told Blockworks that Publisher NFTs are all about digital property rights and stressed that the associated content is available to everyone on TinyTap’s website. 

Last year, two auctions of Publisher NFTs netted 243 ETH at the time — or $352,000.

Other notable fundraises this week

  • DeFi protocol Thetanuts raised $17 million in an institutional round led by Polychain Capital, Hyperchain Capital and Magnus Capital.
  • Cata Labs, the company behind universal liquidity bridge Catalyst, took in $4.2 million from Spartan Group, Maven 11, and others. It plans to use this sum to bring more liquidity to layer 1 blockchains.
  • Amboss Technologies, a data analytics company for the Bitcoin Lightning Network, pulled in $4 million in seed funding from Stillmark.
  • Self custodial wallet Giddy raised nearly $7 million in a strategic funding round with participation from Fortnite co-creator Geremy Mustard.

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