Crypto Funding: $158M week for layer-1 blockchains and a metaverse creator

BitGo raised by far the most capital this week, though it didn’t reveal who put up the money

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Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Nine crypto companies raised a collective $158 million in fresh funding this week, with ZetaChain being a top performer among them. 

The blockchain developer put $27 million on the board with participants in the round including Blockchain.com, Jane Street Capital, Human Capital, Vy Capital, GSR. 

ZetaChain is an Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible layer-1 blockchain, and its team wants to get away from bridges and wrapped tokens. Instead, it wants to move towards a simpler, more interoperable future for crypto, according to a press release.  

ZetaChain allows users to have access to their wallet’s assets and data on a single platform irrespective of the blockchain. Even Bitcoin and Dogecoin are interoperable, despite being non-smart contract chains. 

Read more: ZetaChain announces $27M raise in latest funding round

Another layer-1 blockchain, Linera, raised $6 million in its latest seed round, bringing the total raised to $12 million. Borderless Capital led the round with a16z, Laser Digital Ventures, Matrixport, Flow Traders, and GSR Markets participating. 

Linera was created in 2021 by former Meta engineer Mathieu Baudet. Baudet is trying to increase scalability through “microchains.”

“The Linera system scales by adding chains, not by increasing the size or the production rate of blocks,” according to a press release

The microchain model “grants each individual user their own lightweight chains, which integrate into browser extensions or mobile devices for streamlined Web3 app interactions within their wallets.”

With the new funding, Linera has quite a few plans. The project expects to expand its team, launch a devnet and a testnet, and make their mark in the APAC region. 

BitGo pulls nine figures

BitGo made a $100 million splash this week. The crypto custody firm is now valued at $1.75 billion after its series C round.

That valuation is significantly higher than the $1.2 billion Galaxy Digital almost shelled out to acquire BitGo before backing out of the deal in August 2022.  

Bloomberg broke the news first on Wednesday morning. While BitGo CEO Mike Belshe chose not to disclose the identities of the investors in this recent round, he did mention that the supporters were from both the US and Asia, with some having no ties to the crypto sector at all.

Bloomberg reported that BitGo’s previous investors included Goldman Sachs, DRW Holdings and Galaxy Digital Ventures.

Other notable fundraises

  • Metaverse creator ZTX closed a $13 million seed round led by Jump Crypto with participants Collab+Currency, Parataxis and others
  • Dinari secured $7.5 million to build a decentralized trading platform for tokenized securities. The product will not be available in the US.
  • Electric Capital led a $3.3M seed round for Ellipsis Labs with contributions from Robot Ventures, Anagram and notable angel investors including Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko, Polygon’s chief Marc Boiron and Keone Hon, CEO of Monad Labs.
  • Shuttle Labs raised $2.3 million to build a blockchain explorer called Lore. Shuttle seeks to dethrone Etherscan as the most popular cataloguer of blockchain transactions.
  • JKLabs locked down $2 million in pre-seed funding to change how governance works in crypto.

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