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VC roundup: Conduit raises $37m while MegaLabs, Ora secure $20m each

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VC roundup: Conduit raises $37m while MegaLabs, Ora secure $20m each

The blockchain space saw a big week of venture capital (VC) activity, with 23 startups securing over $154 million in funding. 

According to data from Crypto Fundraiser, the amount of money that flooded the crypto space exceeded last week’s total by almost $91 million.

VC firms also funded 10 more projects this week than last week. 

VC roundup: Conduit raises $37m while MegaLabs, Ora secure $20m each - 1
Crypto fundraising, June 23 – 29, 2024 | Source: Crypto Fundraising

Here’s a breakdown of the top deals:

Conduit, $37 million

Conduit led the pack. The crypto infrastructure dominated with a $37 million series A round.

Paradigm and Haun Ventures co-led the effort. Robot Ventures, Credibly Neutral, Coinbase Ventures, Bankless Ventures and several angel investors participated as well.

Funds are expected to go toward developing Conduit’s customizable blockchain-based products, such as rollups. The funds will also help the firm realize its vision of making on-chain computing more accessible, thus simplifying the development process for blockchain innovators.

MegaLabs, $20 million

MegaLabs, the brain behind a new Ethereum (ETH) scaling protocol, raised $20 million in a seed round led by Dragonfly Capital. 

Announced on June 27, the round included noteworthy angel investors like Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, ConsenSys CEO Joseph Lubin, EigenLayer creator Sreeram Kannan, and Hasu of Flashbots. 

According to MegaLabs, the fresh capital injection will accelerate the development of its MegaETH protocol. The company plans to launch a testnet within the coming months.

Ora, $20 million

Ora, a blockchain project focused on integrating AI into decentralized applications, also raised $20 million. Investors like Polychain, HF0, and Hashkey Capital participated. 

Ora plans to use the funds to develop its technology and infrastructure for tokenizing AI models and bringing decentralized AI to the Ethereum ecosystem.

Central to Ora’s innovation is their optimistic machine learning (opML) technology, which underpins their flagship product, opp/ai. It uses optimistic systems and zero-knowledge technology to create secure and efficient on-chain machine learning with privacy-preserving features.

Additionally, Ora has introduced the concept of the “initial model offering” (IMO), which allows the tokenization of ownership of open-source AI models.

Crossover Markets, $12 million

Another big beneficiary of crypto VC activity this week was technology firm Crossover Markets. It raised $12 million in a series A round led by Illuminate Financial and DRW Venture Capital. 

The round also attracted strategic investors, including Flow Traders and Wintermute, as well as retail brokers, such as Exness, Gate.io, and Think Markets. 

Crossover Markets is renowned for its execution-only electronic communication network, CROSSx, which serves as an institutional trading venue for digital assets. 

In the first quarter of 2024, the company reported over $3.15 billion in notional trading value, 415,450 trades, and over 141 billion quotes processed on CROSSx. It said it will use the new funding to continue investing in its team and technology in the hope of further solidifying its market position.

Redacted, $10 million

Elsewhere, Redacted, a web3 entertainment and gamification platform, raised $10 million in a round led by Spartan Group, with Animoca and P2 Ventures also participating.

Prominent crypto figures like Dingaling and Grail also contributed, underscoring their support for Redacted’s vision of a more engaging and rewarding user experience.

The project’s marketing is said to have captured the attention of web3 investors and enthusiasts alike. Over 150 influential figures in the web3 space have reportedly adopted “Redacted” profile pictures, signaling their involvement and backing the initiative. 

It also uses a catchy slogan, “Don’t get rekt, get redacted,” which plays on crypto culture and encourages investors to choose reputable projects.

The funding will support the development of Reducted’s ecosystem, which will offer a range of entertainment and gamification products powered by the RDAC token.

AnchorZero, $8 million

AnchorZero, a New York-based platform enabling founders to leverage Roth IRAs for tax savings, secured $8 million in seed funding.

The round was led by Bain Capital Crypto and Spark Capital, with additional support from  Ethereal Ventures, Robot Ventures, and Mischief Capital. Angel investor Sarah Meyohas also provided funding.

The platform offers a flagship product aiming to simplify the transfer of startup equity into Roth IRAs. This approach could unlock hundreds of millions in tax savings and allow for tax-free compounding of gains. 

By holding equity within a Roth IRA, founders can benefit from significant tax advantages. Any gains realized upon exit are shielded from capital gains taxes, and these initial gains can be reinvested to grow tax-free.

Covalent, $5 million

Covalent, a blockchain data infrastructure firm, closed a $5 million strategic funding round led by RockTree Capital. 

The round also had significant participation from CMCC Global, Moonrock Capital, and Double Peak Group.

Following the successful funding round, Covalent has launched the New Dawn Initiative, a comprehensive rebranding effort aimed at aligning it more closely with its crypto-native community and reducing corporate influences. 

Covalent’s co-founder, Ganesh Swami, plans to expand the startup’s operations across Asia, particularly in China, Korea, and Singapore, supporting blockchain and AI innovations in the region.

SoSoValue, $4.15 million

SoSoValue successfully closed a $4.15 million seed round led by HongShan and GSR Markets. Other participants included Alumni Ventures, One Piece Labs, and CoinSummer Labs.

The platform, which aims to empower investors with AI-driven data services, says it will use the funds to expand its global researcher community.

In just five months since its launch, SoSoValue has reportedly attracted over 1.2 million organic registered users. The platform is designed to empower investors at all levels, providing them with the tools and resources necessary to make informed decisions in the fast-paced crypto market.