Funding Wrap: Gaming continues to draw investor intrigue

Plus, a modular layer-2 raised $50 million and Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures made a crypto investment

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REDPIXEL.PL/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Web3 gaming startups not named Axie Infinity don’t tend to pull show-stopping funding rounds, but there’s a fairly constant trickle of investment into various games and developer studios. 

That trend continued this week as a host of companies integrating gaming with Web3 announced funding rounds.

Gaming studio Carbonated announced $11 million in funding this week alongside the early access playtest of its NFT-enabled mobile shooter game MadWorld. The round was led by South Korean gaming firm Com2uS.

MadWorld is set in a post-apocalypse world where gamers battle to control plots of land tokenized as NFTs. a16z participated in the round, and also invested in Carbonated in 2020. 

Read more: A16z’s crypto ideas list for 2024 spotlights AI, gaming

The developers of the massively multiplayer online game MetaCene announced a $10 million Series A round with participation from The Spartan Group, Animoca Ventures and others. This follows on $5 million in seed funding MetaCene raised in July 2023.

The Singapore-based gaming company boasts many of the typical Web3 gaming integrations alongside “social guild DAO governance.” The game is still in alpha testing for whitelisted participants. 

On the infrastructure side, Blockus raised a $4 million pre-seed for a service helping game developers add blockchain-enabled features. Blockus participated in a16z’s crypto startup accelerator, though the VC did not apparently participate in the round. 

Eclipse hauls in $50 million for modularity 

The potential for modular blockchains is a buzzy topic among developers, and one firm cashed in on the concept this week. The modular layer-2 blockchain Eclipse raised a $50 million Series A, Blockworks reported. Placeholder Ventures and Hack VC led the round. 

Modular blockchains divide up the different tasks carried out by blockchains into different layers, as opposed to monolithic chains like Bitcoin where the same set of nodes do everything. 

Despite Ethereum’s fee-reducing Dencun upgrade this week, Eclipse will continue to use high-throughput network Celestia to post its transaction data, founder Neel Somani told Blockworks. The chain is expected to go to mainnet next quarter. 

Other notable fundraises

  • Zk proof-focused infrastructure firm Polyhedra raised $20 million at a $1 billion valuation.
  • Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures led a $10 million round in D2X, which is launching an EU-based derivatives exchange. 
  • Data computing for blockchain startup Clique announced an $8 million Series A. 
  • Web3 social platform UXLink raised $9 million.

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