Funding Roundup: Gaming and NFT Startups Gain Momentum

Bear market conditions see less money going into startups but investor interest in Web3 remains

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Crypto funding continues to gain momentum in the third week of the new year.

Among the recipients was Candy Digital, an NFT collectibles company. A recent US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing shows that the startup had secured $38.5 million from 14 different investors.

Candy Digital is the creation of sports merchandising giant Fanatics, entrepreneur and internet celebrity Gary Vaynerchuk, and Galaxy Digital. The startup was born during the NFT boom in 2021 and secured a $100 million Series A in October of that same year. The company was previously valued at $1.5 billion, though that number has likely dipped in the bear market. 

“The current environment offers a strong opportunity to build, and we look forward to continuing to scale our platform, form new partnerships with leading brands and institutions, and deliver best-in-class digital products to our customers,” Scott Lawin, CEO of Candy Digital said in a statement.

Another company that gained the interest of venture capitalists this week was Web3 gaming platform Intella X.

The South Korean startup secured $12 million from prominent investors including Polygon, Animoca Brands and Magic Eden and has plans to launch on Polygon in the first quarter of 2023.

Funding will likely be spent on the Polygon launch and development of Intella X’s other products including a Web3 wallet, decentralized exchange (DEX), NFT marketplace and other games.

The Latin American region is also receiving interest. Web3 infrastructure provider Parfin landed a $15 million investment led by Framework Ventures. Other investors including Alexia Ventures, Valor Capital Group and L4 Venture Builder also participated in the round. 

L4 Venture Builder is an investment fund owned by the Brazilian stock exchange, and its investment is still subject to approval, the company said. 

“Raising these funds in such a complex and challenging market deepens our confidence in Parfin’s market strategy, technology, and products,” Marcos Viriato CEO and co-founder of Parfin said in a statement. “We plan on using these funds to both solidify our lead and accelerate our global expansion during this crucial building period.”

Other notable raises this week include:

  • Ulvetanna a zero-knowledge proof startup secured $15 million from Bain Capital Crypto, Paradigm and Jump Crypto.
  • Nil Foundation, another zero-knowledge tech startup, landed $22 million in a round led by Polychain Capital with participation from investors at Blockchain Capital, Starkware and Mina Protocol.
  • Web3 fashion startup SYKY landed $9.5 million from a round led by Seven Seven Six, other investors including Brevan Howard Digital, Leadout Capital, First Light Capital Group and Polygon Ventures also participated in the round.

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