Venture capital (VC) funding rounds multiply as cryptocurrency bull market returns

Venture capital (VC) funding rounds are increasing as the cryptocurrency bull market returns and is firing on all cylinders.

On May 16, cryptocurrency venture capital firm Aquarius announced the launch of a $600 million multi-strategy fund to help blockchain companies and ecosystem projects increase on-chain liquidity. In a statement to Cointelegraph, Aquarius staff said the strategic fund is backed by “Bitrise Capital, several leading miners, family offices and influencers.”

Additionally, the $600 million strategic fund will help early-stage blockchain infrastructure, decentralized finance, artificial intelligence, Bitcoin ecosystem, modular architecture, and data layer projects build their communities as well as to develop products available on the market. “As the first institutional fund of its kind, it systematically manages cross-chain liquidity and helps various blockchain institutions and ecosystem projects meet their liquidity needs,” Aquarius wrote.

Aquarius was founded in 2018 by Lin Yang, a Singapore-based venture capitalist, who has backed high-profile companies such as Conflux, as well as investments in emerging Web2 sectors including new energy, advanced manufacturing and finance. The company moved its headquarters to New York on May 8.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency ecosystem projects are receiving significant funding as the bull market heats up.

On May 6, Cointelegraph reported that cryptocurrency venture capital funding surpassed $1 billion for the second consecutive month this year. April saw $1.02 billion in funding spread across 161 investment rounds, up from $1.09 billion in March, both trends not seen since late 2022.

Monthly funding amounts for the cryptocurrency project since January 2022. Source: RootData

Earlier this month, digital securities platform Securitize raised $47 million in a new strategic funding round led by BlackRock. Blockchain developers Aptos Labs, as well as stablecoin issuers Paxos and Circle, were also among the investors. Joseph Shalom, global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships for BlackRock, will join the Securitize board of directors. He described this investment as “another step in the evolution of our digital assets strategy (…) which will help meet the future needs of our customers”.

In April, Puffer Finance, a liquid storage project built on Ethereum’s Layer 2 solution EigenLayer, secured $18 million in a Series A funding round from the likes of Coinbase Ventures and Kraken Ventures to launch its main network. Puffer Finance technology allows Ethereum validators to reduce their initial capital requirements to just 1 Ether (ETH), compared to 32 ETH required for retail players. The protocol surpassed a total value of $1.4 billion shortly after its launch in February.

The market has changed radically over the past year.

In September 2023, Tony Cheng, a partner at Singapore cryptocurrency investment firm Foresight Ventures, recommended projects do whatever they can to survive. “If you’re short on capital, if you don’t have enough margin to continue for a year or so, you need to take capital and take as much as you can, because that money may no longer be available,” he said. -he declares. explained at the time. Two or three months.

Since falling below $16,000 following the sudden collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November 2022, Bitcoin (BTC) has risen more than 300%, boosted by fund approval of Bitcoin spot trading worldwide and the gradual repayment of creditor funds blocked on the exchange. . Exchange gone. Some venture capitalists are predicting that the current bull market will see another boom in ICOs beyond the previous highs of early 2018.

Related: Crypto VC Funding Jumped 53% in March, Optimism Wins Biggest Share

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