Crypto Funding: Focus on Web3 Development in $151M Week

Worldcoin brought in the vast majority of the capital this week, but there were other standouts

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Artwork by Axel Rangel

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Approximately 12 crypto startups raised over $151 million this week, with Web3 gaming taking center stage.

Openfort brought in $3 million in an effort to continue developing its wallet as a service product for Web3 gaming. Gumi Cryptos Capital and Maven 11 teamed up to lead the seed round, with participation from Game7, NGC Ventures and Newman Capital.

Founded by brothers Joan and Jaume Alavedra, Openfort seeks to provide infrastructure that will be able to support crypto transactions on popular games.

“Web2 hit games like Clash of Clans are accustomed to monitoring and controlling all aspects of their game economies,” said Joan Alavedra, cofounder of Openfort, in a statement. “By offering programmable player management we provide the power needed for the next hit games in Web3.”

Openfort plans to use a technique called account abstraction, which enables “smart contracts to initiate transactions themselves,” according to a post on the Ethereum website. Openfort’s investors think account abstraction will make the gaming experience a lot smoother and simpler for users.

Visa’s crypto team is also exploring account abstraction. Specifically, they want to abstract gas fees and let users transact with ERC-20 tokens.

Also in the gaming sector, Pomerium, a Web3 game developer, notched a $20 million investment in an angel round. The individual who kicked in the funds remains undisclosed. 

Worldcoin raises $115 million

The blockchain-based financial and identity network co-founded by OpenAI creator Sam Altman pulled in nine figures this week, despite a bear market in crypto funding. 

Worldcoin’s $115 million Series C round was led by Blockchain Capital. Other investors included a16z, Bain Capital Crypto and Distributed Global.

Worldcoin, built by tech company Tools for Humanity, has plans to institute a structure similar to that of a DAO. Three ideas are crucial to its mission. 

World ID is its take on digital identity. Worldcoin — the Ethereum-based token itself — will be the currency “freely distributed” to people, similar to universal basic income. Finally, the World App will be the crypto wallet for the ecosystem. 

Worldcoin is still in beta, but it plans to launch in the first half of 2023, according to its website.

Other notable fundraises

  • News site Semafor, though not a crypto firm, raised $19 million to replace the funds it initially received in June of last year from FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried. After a bout of criticism, Semafor returned the approximately $10 million it received from Bankman-Fried in January 2023, the New York Times reported
  • LabDAO raised $3.6 million with help from Inflection.xyz and Village Global to decentralize drug discovery.
  • Sort, a smart contract platform for developers building Web3 apps, brought in $3.5 million in a seed round led by Lemniscap. 
  • Num Finance, a local stablecoin issuer in Latin American countries, won a $1.5 million investment in a pre-seed round led by stablecoin-focused Reserve.

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