Crypto funding: $56M+ week with major focus on Web3 social media

On top of Lens Protocol’s $15 million raise, Web3 gaming again took a significant portion of the funding this week

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During the past week, six crypto firms collectively raised just short of $57 million. Among them, Lens Protocol, a company committed to providing a decentralized social media experience for Web3, secured $15 million in funding. The protocol, developed by Aave, said that it aims to expand its ecosystem and further enhance its product with the financial support, as reported by TechCrunch on Thursday.

Aave Companies CEO Stani Kulechov told the outlet that Lens Protocol is trying to create a version of the internet that’s “more equitable, fair and democratic” and build infrastructure that isn’t owned by large corporations like Meta to ensure decentralization. 

The seed round was led by IDEO CoLab Ventures with other investors, including notable venture capital firms and DAOs. Uniswap CEO Hayden Adams,OpenSea co-founder Alex Atallah and others contributed as angel investors.

Lens Protocol has been in the process of scaling their social graph since its founding in May 2022, but it took a larger step toward that goal when it launched Momoka in April 2023. 

Momoka is its attempt to reduce gas costs and increase data throughput by moving transactions off the Polygon proof-of-stake chain. Lens Protocol stressed at the time that those transactions would still be verifiable via off-chain storage layers.

Taiko raises $12M, earns notice of Vitalik Buterin

Taiko Labs, which is building what it describes as a Type 1 zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine, raised $22 million across two rounds. The more recent second round was a pre-series A, and was led by Generative Ventures, the Block reported

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin wrote about Type 1 zkEVMs in an August 2022 blog post, saying “Type 1 ZK-EVM is what we eventually need to make the Ethernet L1 layer itself more scalable,” he wrote. “[They] are also ideal for rollups because they allow rollups to reuse large amounts of infrastructure.”

Taiko released its alpha-3 testnet on Wednesday.

Other notable fundraises

  • Informal Systems, a core developer team in the Cosmos ecosystem, raised $5.3 million to bolster its security auditing division.
  • HyperPlay secured $12 million from investors Griffin Gaming Partners, Bitkraft, MetaMask to build a Web3 game launcher and store.
  • Argus, another firm steeped in Web3 gaming, brought in $10 million from lead investor Haun with participation from Alchemy and others. 
  • Ironforge, a serverless Solana development platform, announced a $2.6 million seed raise. Its team wants to improve the developer experience on Solana as the platform continues to grow.

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