Funding Wrap: Centrifuge raises $15M as investors bet on RWAs

Plus, Puffer joins the restaking round club and a Bitcoin Runes DEX announces seed funding

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Centrifuge co-founder Lucas Vogelsang | Ben Solomon Photo LLC for Blockworks

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It was something of an eye of the storm week for crypto funding, as the dust settled on two layer-1 megadeals last week and all of crypto braced for the fourth Bitcoin halving.

The week was nevertheless a standout one for deals in real-world assets, which refers to projects tokenizing off-chain goods like real estate or US Treasurys. 

Centrifuge raised $15 million for a generalist real-world asset platform. The round was co-led by ParaFi Capital and Greenfield, and follows on $7 million in strategic capital Centrifuge raised throughout 2022. 

Read more: Tokenized real-world assets are more than a Web3 Robinhood

Centrifuge facilitates pools of tokenized real-world assets (RWAs), including assets like loans, credit and real estate. These pools are designed specifically to manage RWA liquidity pools, which are assets locked in a smart contract that help facilitate a liquid market. These pools consist of assets locked in a smart contract to support a liquid market for these RWAs.

Centrifuge tokenizes assets by creating NFTs that embed links to detailed off-chain data. This method leverages blockchain technology to ensure transparency and accessibility while securing sensitive data off-chain, as outlined in the project’s documentation.

Centrifuge has also explored launching RWA liquidity pools on a variety of other chains, including Arbitrum and Base. 

Read more: Centrifuge to meet demand for real-world assets with liquidity pools

Centrifuge says $285 million worth in assets are held in its liquidity pools, a figure that increased quickly after sitting around $80 million at the end of 2022. 

With the funding, “[w]e’ll continue to grow the team, invest in product development and support the broader tokenization ecosystem education and growth,” Centrifuge co-founder Lucas Vogelsang told Blockworks.

Also this week, tokenized real estate platform Homium raised a $10 million Series A to put home equity loans on the Avalanche blockchain. The round was led by University of Utah-linked Sorenson Impact Group and Avalanche’s “Blizzard” ecosystem fund.

Homium offers homeowners “shared appreciation” loans that are pooled with other loans and converted to a tokenized security. The product aims to provide tokenized access to home appreciation at scale. Homium’s loans are currently only available in Colorado. 

RWA Inc, which focuses on fractional assets, announced a $1.175 million private funding round this week. 

Puffer the latest restaking protocol to close a round

As EigenLayer went to a phased mainnet, liquid restaking protocol Puffer announced $18 million in Series A funding. The round was co-led by Brevan Howard Digital and Electric Capital.

Coinbase Ventures, Kraken Ventures, Franklin Templeton and Fidelity Investments-linked Avon Ventures were among other participants in the round. 

Puffer is rolling out a pufETH liquid restaking token that aims to offer holders exposure to yield from Ethereum staking and EigenLayer restaking. The protocol is not yet in mainnet. 

Puffer is the third-largest liquid restaking protocol by total value locked (TVL) behind ether.fi and Renzo, according to DeFiLlama. 

Elsewhere in liquid restaking, Aark closed a $6 million seed round for a perpetual futures DEX aiming to leverage liquid restaking tokens.

Other notable funding news

  • Massively multiplayer online game AVALON closed a $10 million round led by BITKRAFT Ventures and HASHED.
  • P2 Ventures committed $50 million via the Hadron Founders Club to support Polygon ecosystem startups.
  • Thruster, the second-largest protocol on Blast, raised $7.5 million in seed funding led by Pantera Capital.
  • Andreessen Horowitz raised a $7.2 billion fund, but not for its crypto arm.
  • DeFi for content creators startup Matera raised $3.6 million.
  • Runes DEX raised a $2 million seed round for an exchange for the new fungible tokens slated to launch on Bitcoin at the halving.

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