Blockworks and Pudgy Penguins Lead the Way in $56M Funding Week

DeFi and NFT-related projects dominated over the past few days

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Artwork by Blockworks

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Crypto startups collectively brought in approximately $56 million this week, with Blockworks bringing in the most cash — $12 million — out of the 13 companies that had funding rounds. Compared with last week’s $52 million raised, money flow to crypto and Web3 companies has remained flat. 

A broad overview of the week shows that DeFi and NFT-related projects got the most attention. But Blockworks’ funding announcement was unique in that it was the only crypto media company to get a cash injection. 

Blockworks closed its fundraise this week with a valuation of $135 million. The strategic funding round was led by 10T Holdings with additional participants Framework Ventures and crypto angel investor Santiago Santos. Santos co-hosts the Empire podcast with Blockworks co-founder Jason Yanowitz. 

The funding will go toward expanding the company’s product offerings and its research platform, which has already announced a new governance tracking tool called GovHub.

A focus on DeFi and NFTs

Pudgy Penguins was also a top fundraiser this week, booking $9 million in its seed round. The popular NFT platform and publisher launched in 2021. It has since gained hundreds of thousands of followers across various social media platforms.  

Pudgy Penguins CEO Luca Netz, who acquired the company in April 2022, stressed his desire to expand and improve upon the NFT brand’s intellectual property.

“[Pudgy Penguins] is a transcendent IP brand that is providing a community of both crypto-native and non-crypto native consumers with enjoyable products, experiences, and content,” Netz said. “With the backing of our partners and community, we are excited to create the leading Web3 IP brand of tomorrow.”

In the realm of DeFi, Odsy Network collected $7.5 million at a valuation of $250 million. The company stressed the need to build more decentralized mechanisms in the face of centralized Web3 entities collapsing such as FTX and Celsius. 

The seed round was led by Blockchange Ventures along with others such as Rubik Ventures, Node Capital and FalconX, according to a press release shared with Blockworks. 

Odsy’s main product is called a dWallet (dynamic decentralized wallet). These “are programmable and transferable signing mechanisms that live on the decentralized Odsy Network, and that can sign transactions on practically any other blockchain,” according to the press release.

Other notable fundraises

  • Webb Protocol, a Web3 privacy firm, has raised $7 million in a seed round co-led by Polychain and Lemniscap.
  • Decentralized crypto exchange and DeFi protocol Dolomite had a $2.5 million funding round, which was spearheaded by venture capital funds Draper Goren Holm and NGC, with participation from Coinbase Ventures. 
  • Cookbook, a community-sourced collection of Ethereum virtual machine smart contracts, raised $2 million to support new Web3 projects and developers by, in part, creating free educational content.
  • Smilee, a decentralized on-chain options protocol, also raised $2 million with the help of Dialectic and a host of other venture capital firms.

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