Crypto funding: A focus on decentralized orderbook exchanges in $66M week

A wide variety of firms had successful raises this week, including one developing a decentralized alternative to Google Docs

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Eleven crypto startups pulled in a collective $66.7 million in new early stage funding rounds this week. 

Coming in at number one was SynFutures with a $22 million series B fundraise. Pantera Capital led the round for the crypto and NFT futures DEX, along with Susquehanna International Group and HashKey Capital.

Alongside this significant cash injection from top crypto venture capital firms, SynFutures also debuted version three of its exchange. For now, it’s in a public testnet that can only be accessed via a desktop.

The updated model for the platform relies on a new automated market maker (AMM) called Oyster. It features an on-chain order book, a new liquidation framework specifically for derivatives trading, and a way to provide liquidity through a single token of a trading pair.

Read more: SynFutures raises $22 million, introduces public testnet for v3

Speaking of liquidity on DEXs, Elixir Protocol just raised $7.5 million to address that exact issue. 

The funds for the DeFi protocol were raised at a $100 million valuation, with Hack VC leading the round. NGC Ventures, AngelList Ventures, Bloccelerate and various angels also invested. 

With the additional cash now on hand, Elixir wants to help DEXs and other protocols be able to adopt a decentralized order book model by helping provide liquidity to get trades off the ground.

Metaverse gets a win

Upland, a metaverse aiming to mimic the terrain of the real world, raised $7 million on Friday as part of an extension of its 2021 series A round.

Existing investors C3 Venture Capital and Animoca Brands contributed to the round as did new investor EOS Network Ventures. 

Upland allows its users to own virtual property mapped to the real-world geography of Earth. And like our planet, real estate on Upland varies quite a bit in price depending on the location you choose, Upland chief of staff Danny Brown Wolf told Blockworks in September 2022.

Blockworks previously reported that Upland users directed a fundraising campaign for a nonprofit building playgrounds in communities that lack them. 

As of last month, Upland has raised just shy of $90,000 for charitable causes through sales of in-game map assets, in other words, NFTs

Other notable fundraises

  • Crypto price aggregator Coin Metrics raised over $6.7 million, according to a Wednesday SEC filing
  • Solana treasury asset manager Squads Protocol secured $5.7 million in a round led by Placeholder with a smattering of other participating VCs.
  • MyShell, an opBNB-based AI tool provider, received $5.6 million in a seed round with INCE Capital, Folius Ventures, Hashkey Capital and more investing. 
  • Beluga raised $4 million in seed funding from head investor Fin Capital and over a dozen others. It’s a platform designed to onboard newcomers into crypto and Web3.
  • Darewise Entertainment raised $3.5 million through a presale of an upcoming token meant to undergird its eventual Bitcoin metaverse offering.
  • Third Time Entertainment, which created a token-based virtual horse race betting game, closed on a $2 million plus seed round. 
  • Fileverse, a decentralized version of Google Docs and/or Medium, announced it raised $1.5 million on a pre-seed basis from companies, VCs and angel investors.
  • Hardware wallet provider Ryder raised $1.2 million from multiple investors.

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