Funding Wrap: Investors bet on NFT turnaround

Plus, bitcoin cashback service nets $8 million and a16z leads a round

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Investors put funding into a range of NFT upstarts this week as the digital collectible market sees signs of life and entrenched NFT groups stumble. 

The Web3 arm of Japanese messaging app LINE raised $140 million — and its most immediate next venture is integrating a mobile-enabled NFT platform called DOSI with LINE’s existing NFT marketplace, LINE NFT. Peter Thiel-sponsored private equity firm Crescendo led the funding round in LINE NEXT.

Elsewhere across the NFT marketplace, Metagood secured $5 million in seed funding led by Sora Ventures. Metagood’s Osura marketplace is one of several vying for market share in Bitcoin ordinals trading. Osura brands itself as a marketplace for “high-end” ordinal inscriptions and currently has three collections on display.

Read more: Solana’s NFT marketplace booms, with Tensor in top spot

Heading a layer deeper into NFT trading, 1kx led a $3 million Series A for NFT perpetual futures exchange nftperp. Nftperp essentially lets investors take long or short positions on the floor prices of popular NFT collections.

The raises came weeks after Tiger Global reportedly marked down its stakes in embattled NFT giants Board Ape Yacht Club and OpenSea by 69% and 94% respectively.

Bitcoin cashback service secures a raise

BITKRAFT Ventures led a $8 million Series B in bitcoin cashback rewards service Lolli. The round also drew participation from Ulta Beauty’s “digital innovation fund” Prisma Ventures. 

Lolli lets customers link credit or debit cards to its platform and earn bitcoin-denominated cashback rewards on purchases at major retailers in-store or via its browser extension. 

In a blog post accompanying the raise, Lolli said the fresh funding would go towards expanding its card linking program as well as forging partnerships with “neobanks, exchanges, payment companies, search engines and card networks.”

Lolli previously raised $5 million in a 2021 pre-Series A in a round prominently featuring celebrities.

Other notable fundraises

  • A16z led a $13.5 million Series A round in Web3 authentication platform Dynamic. In a blog post accompanying the raise announcement, Andreessen general partner Ariana Simpson wrote, “We’ve long believed that smoother onboarding and auth would become the norm, and it’s a problem the Dynamic team has been tackling head-on.”
  • UK-based digital asset derivatives trading firm GFO-X raised $30 million in a Series B led by M&G Investments.
  • Lightspeed Venture partners led a $48 million raise in digital asset risk management Andalusia Labs at a $1 billion valuation. 
  • Mining rig producer Canaan Creative raised $25 million via a preferred shares sale with an unnamed institutional investor.

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