Crypto Funding: $52M for Startups, Including Bitcoin Lightning Scaling Solution

A community bitcoin payment and custody solution, a multichain ZK rollup trading layer, and a probability token provider were the top fundraisers

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phanurak rubpol/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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The past few days haven’t been too kind to crypto startups, with funding slowing to approximately $52 million. Last week’s total — just over $118 million — more than doubled this week’s figure. 

Fedi, a financial data tech developer, and multichain, zero-knowledge rollup zkLink topped this week’s hauls by far, bringing in $17 million and $10 million, respectively.

Fedi’s raise happened via a Series A round led by Ego Death Capital, with additional investments from Kingsway, Trammell Venture Partners and Timechain, among others. 

Built on top of the Lightning Network, Fedi said it will allow its users to build what it calls “federations” or communities where you can pay your friends, family and more with bitcoin (BTC). 

“Initially Fedi will focus on a few core functions like securely storing and transacting bitcoin; protecting and utilizing your data; and communicating securely with friends, family, and coworkers,” a statement from Fedi said.

A focus on ZK tech and smart contract casino economy

zkLink’s latest strategic funding round brought it up to a total of $18.5 million raised to date. Coinbase Ventures, Ascensive Assets, SIG DTI, BigBrain Holdings, Efficient Frontier and others participated. 

This comes before zkLink’s planned mainnet launch in the third quarter of 2023, and with the new injection of cash, the DeFi trading layer plans to provide “crypto traders with a seamless multi-chain experience.”

Separately, FARE Protocol, a probability smart contract ecosystem, took in $6.2 million in a seed round. The raise was led by Twitch founder Justin Kan’s Goat Capital and C Squared Ventures.

The FARE token can either be minted or burned through probability contracts. It’s a form of digital gambling, though instead of the profits getting raked in by a casino or centralized authority, the value is distributed among FARE holders through token deflation.

“Developers can build FARE contracts and users can deploy FARE in those contracts for a chance to instantly mint new FARE or burn their FARE. These chances [probabilities] are transparent, verifiably random, and favor the odds of burning,” the project’s website says. 

Other notable fundraises

  • NFT platform Vibe raised $4 million to help creators turn NFTs into usable applications or products with no code. Web3 infrastructure behemoth Alchemy Ventures led the seed round.
  • Entendre Finance, an automated accounting and bookkeeping solution for Web3 businesses, hauled $4 million in a seed round with lead investor Basis Set and participants MoonPay and MDig.
  • DeFi protocol Nolus secured $2.5 million in pre-seed and seed funding to address inefficiencies in DeFi money markets. It’s now valued at $20 million. 
  • DeFi aggregator Portals locked down $2 million in seed money, an effort which was led by Lightshift Capital.

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