Crypto funding: Summer doldrums end as firms raise $111M

Substantial raises by Brine Fi and GenTwo also grabbed the attention of industry watchers this week

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Ten crypto startups raised over $111 million, with three firms managing to secure eight-figure cash injections. 

Story Protocol was the clear standout, pulling in nearly half the total with $54 million. 

The open intellectual property infrastructure provider’s Series A round was led by a16z Crypto, with participation from dozens of other individual investors, venture capital companies and one celebrity investor: Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media. 

Other noteworthy backers include Samsung Next, dao5, and former Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan. 

Story Protocol’s goal is to offer creatives — writers, artists, game developers, musicians, etc. — a platform that allows them to track the provenance of their work. 

“Our current [intellectual property] infrastructure is too unwieldy to support remixing, community lore, and co-creation as foundational pillars of creativity,” Story Protocol said in its inaugural blog post. “Instead of leaning into the fundamental force of the internet — openness — most [intellectual property] models emphasize a defensive stance, adding friction to the creative process.”

Brine Fi, GenTwo are top fundraisers

Decentralized crypto exchange Brine Fi secured a $100 million valuation this week after raising $16.5 million in a Series A round. 

The fresh funding came courtesy of lead investor Pantera Capital. Elevation Capital, StarkWare, Spartan Group, and angel investors supported Brine Fi as well. 

This relatively new DEX is powered by StarkWare’s zero knowledge proof technology. Brine Fi opened for business in May, serving just over 400 users with a cumulative trading volume of $505 million. 

Total value locked, coming in at $592,640 as of Friday, has seen somewhat of a plateau since the beginning of August. 

Earlier in the week, fintech platform GenTwo garnered $15 million via a Series A round led by Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures, according to a statement

As part of Point72’s investment, the company’s co-head of fintech investments, Pete Casella, is joining GenTwo’s board of directors. 

Through GenTwo’s platform, customers can fashion real estate, fine art or crypto into investable assets.

As of now, GenTwo serves 250 clients and has helped launch over 1,200 investment products.

Other notable fundraises

  • Trident Digital Group is a crypto lending business started by former Coinbase executives. The startup raised $8 million from White Star Capital and New Form.
  • TRLab, which helps create digital art experiences, saw a fresh $5 million from Hivemind Capital Partners and OKX Ventures.
  • D3 Global locked down $5 million to launch an on-chain marketplace for legacy web domains. Shima Capital led the round, and there were around 10 other investors.
  • Layer-2 interoperability protocol Socket secured a $5 million strategic investment from Coinbase Ventures and Framework Ventures. 
  • Kotani closed a $2 million pre-seed round to continue developing a solution for sending remittances via stablecoins.
  • Nestcoin raised $1.9 million from Hashed Emergent to build Onboard Wallet, a self custodial wallet.
  • Gleen, a customer support firm using generative AI, raised $4.9 million from two notable crypto backers including Coinshares and 6th Man Ventures.

Updated Sept. 28, 2023 at 1:02 pm ET: Details of one fundraising round have been removed at the request of the company, as the round has not yet concluded. The week’s fundraising totals have been adjusted to reflect that.


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