Funding Roundup: DeFi Developers Have the Attention of Venture Capitalists

Bear market DeFi-builders are still receiving a fairly steady stream of funding, mostly from crypto-native investors

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DeFi protocols this week have largely kept the momentum going when it comes to taking in fresh venture capital dollars. 

Investment platform Exponential — which specializes in decentralized yield opportunities — closed a $14 million seed round led by Paradigm.

Other investors that participated included Huan Ventures, FTX Ventures, Solana Ventures and Polygon. 

Exponential plans to use the capital injection to continue developing DeFi products so that day-to-day investors can tap high-yield plays. 

“We’ve assembled an all-star team of former Uber and Amazon employees with diverse expertise across engineering, crypto, fintech, and consumer products,” the co-founders of Exponential wrote in a blog post.

Centrifuge — a protocol that allows small businesses to access DeFi liquidity by putting down real-world assets — meanwhile raised a $4 million strategic round. It saw participation from Coinbase Ventures, L1 Digital and Scytale.

Investment firm BlockTower previously inked a $3 million strategic partnership with Centrifuge and has since financed over $182 million worth of real-world assets with DeFi liquidity.

“We’re building the credit market of the future and along with that we need to build out the financial ecosystem for institutions to transact on-chain,” said Lucas Vogelsang, Centrifuge’s chief executive. 

“Partners like Coinbase and BlockTower are essential in building critical parts of this infrastructure, as Centrifuge becomes the go-to platform for real-world assets and on chain secured credit,” Vogelsang added.

Web3 communications protocol company WalletConnect also secured $12.5 million in an ecosystem round, with participation from the likes of Shopify, Coinbase Ventures, ConsenSys, Circle Ventures, Polygon and Uniswap Labs Ventures.

WalletConnect has earmarked the funding for the continued development of its encrypted communications technology. So far, its product has been integrated with more than 210 wallets and 450 apps and services including MetaMask, Uniswap and OpenSea.

Another wallet, Braavos, also received funding this week.

The cryptoasset management solution that offers smart-contract based wallets closed a $10 million financing round led by Pantrea Capital. 

Braavos plans to use the latest fundraise to launch a suite of products — including a “forgot password” mechanism, multi-factor authentication and built-in DeFi capabilities for one-click yield inside the wallet.

“Our mission is to eliminate these high friction hurdles and provide users with the smooth experience they deserve, while preserving the core crypto values of decentralization and self-custody,” Motty Lavie, founder and CEO of Braavos, said in a statement.  

Other noteworthy funding rounds this week include:

  • P​​ortuguese startup RealFevr closed a 10 million euro Series A, led by global sports investor ADvantage, to build a Web3 gaming finance sports ecosystem.
  • Dubai-based Trace Metaverse secured $3.5 million in a seed round to build a geo-location-based metaverse.
  • Australian startup Fluidity Money secured $1.3 million from BitScale in its seed round.

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