Funding Wrap: Polymarket gets backing from Vitalik Buterin, Founders Fund in $70M raise

Humanity Protocol also announced a $30 million round, giving the Worldcoin competitor a $1 billion valuation

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This week’s funding was led by the betting platform Polymarket, which disclosed a whopping $70 million raised from two separate rounds. 

The announcement was slightly unusual in that it revealed its Series B raise while also revealing a previously undisclosed Series A round.

The Series A — which raised $25 million — was led by General Catalyst, with Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia and Polychain also participating.

The Series B raised $45 million, and saw participation from Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum (like he needs an introduction at this point though), with Founders Fund leading the round. 

Read more from our opinion section: Gambling on the Titanic sub sucks, but leave moral outrage in Web2

In the announcement, which took place earlier this week, Founders Fund partner Joey Krug offered an inside scoop on his company’s interest in the prediction market platform.

“Internally at Founders Fund, we developed a habit of checking Polymarket at times of breaking news. The tangible benefits of using Polymarket as a complement to consuming news on social and mainstream media was obvious. It became clear to us that Polymarket was the winner in this market,” he said.

Trading on Polymarket is prohibited in the US, though anyone can view the forecasts. But the funding announcement does come as the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission proposed a new rule to ban derivatives on election bets (and potentially other events). 

Polymarket does currently allow people to place bets on potential winners of the presidential election. Currently, former President Donald Trump has the lead with 51%. President Joe Biden is a close second at 42%. Roughly $127 million has been placed on potential election winners.

Read more: CFTC fines crypto betting service Polymarket $1.4M, orders shutdown of three markets

In the distance, a unicorn earns its horn

Decentralized identity project Humanity Protocol announced a $30 million seed round led by Kingsway Capital. The Worldcoin competitor, which uses palm recognition technology instead of iris-scanning software, emerged from stealth back in February. 

The round, announced Wednesday, saw participation from Animoca Brands, Blockchain.com, Hashed and Shima Capital, among others. 

Humanity Protocol previously announced a fundraising round, saying that it received funds from 20 crypto native venture capitalists. 

The raise puts the protocol’s valuation at $1 billion, officially making it a crypto unicorn. 

“As an advocate for true digital property rights, I’m very passionate about ensuring that users’ digital identities remain secure and protected. Traditional proof-of-personhood methods often come with drawbacks, whether they’re too invasive, complicated or cumbersome,” Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu said in a statement.

Other notable funding news

  • Subquid raised $17.5 million in “recent rounds” that included investments from Hypersphere, Zee Prime, CFG, Lattice and Blockchange.
  • Param Labs, a gaming platform, raised $7 million round in a round led by Animoca Brands. Delphi Ventures and Cypher Labs participated in the round. 
  • Zeta Market announced a $5 million round led by Electric Capital.

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