VC Roundup: Web3 dev, EVM sharding and crypto banking headline blockchain funding deals

Web3 dominance within crypto funding rounds has been well documented by Cointelegraph Research. In addition to the Web3 mega funds announced recently, venture capital has also been making smaller, more targeted investments in the sector. In this week’s venture capital (VC) Roundup, we chronicle the latest Web3 funding initiatives and draw attention to a sharding platform, nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace, crypto banking solution and co-ownership infrastructure provider. 

Related: Blockchain games and metaverse projects raised $1.3B in Q3: DappRadar

Gamers, athletes and content creators back WWVentures

WWVentures, a boutique crypto venture firm, has raised $15 million for its Web3 fund — putting the company on track to invest in the metaverse, decentralized finance (DeFi) and blockchain gaming startups. The funding round was backed by a slew of notable gamers, content creators and athletes, including former UFC Champion Michael Bisping and Trent Alexander Arnold of Liverpool F.C. The fund will focus exclusively on startups with a “community-first approach” to development and will aid its growth through social capital and community-building support.

Happy to be involved with this project and a proud investor. Let’s go! @WW_Ventures https://t.co/q6td5fiDna

— michael (@bisping) September 27, 2022

Scalability-focused blockchain raises $18.2M

Ethereum Virtual Machine-based blockchain Shardeum has received $18.2 million in seed funding from over 50 investors, including venture firms Jane Street, The Spartan Group and DFG. Shardeum is a proof-of-stake network focused on solving one of blockchain’s biggest pain points: scalability. As the name implies, the platform uses sharding — a type of database partitioning — to increase throughput capacity. Shardeum claims that its scaling capacity is superior to other layer-1 blockchains.

Avalanche-native platform raises $6M for NFT marketplace

Myna Swap, a luxury collectible marketplace that allows users to convert their physical assets into digital twins via NFTs, has raised $6 million in seed funding. Investors include Polygon Studios, Blizzard Avalanche Fund, Spartan Capital and Wave Financial. The platform, which offers trading and vaulting services, is geared toward collectors of sneakers, sports cards and watches and was built on the Avalanche blockchain. Myna Swap is set for launch later this year.

Alexis Ohanian backs Antic in $7M raise

Web3 co-ownership infrastructure provider Antic has raised $7 million in funding led by Sheva and Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six venture studio, with additional participation from Pantera Capital, Sound Ventures and Dapper Labs. Antic described co-ownership technology as an emerging concept within the Web3 community that allows companies to establish blockchain-based ownership models more easily.

Crypto banking platform closes $18M Series A

Web3 banking platform Juno has raised $18 million in Series A funding led by ParaFi Capital, with additional participation from Hashed, Jump Crypto and others. Juno provides a crypto-native checking account that allows users to bank with their digital assets more easily. Following the investment round, Juno is planning to expand its product offerings and launch a tokenized loyalty program that allows users to earn coins for taking their paycheck in crypto or spending digital assets with their Juno card.

Related: FTX and Visa partner to permit crypto payments in 40 countries

Wintermute Labs leads Zerion funding round

Web3 wallet and DeFi aggregator Zerion has closed a $12.3 million Series B funding round led by Wintermute Labs, the venture arm of liquidity provider Wintermute. Zerion will use the funding to further develop its Web3 wallet by integrating advanced data and enabling better cross-chain identity management for Ethereum-compatible blockchains. Zerion claims that its trading volume has grown from $47 million in 2019 to more than $1.5 billion.

The growth of the Web3 VC industry is showing no signs of slowing down.

Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal is the latest to join the party after raising $50 million for a new startup fund. https://t.co/XqEuvk5PV3

— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) August 25, 2022

thirdweb lands $24M from major VC investors

Web3 developer platform thirdweb achieved a lofty valuation of $160 million following its Series A funding round that landed the company $24 million. The Series A funding was led by Haun Ventures and included several notable investors such as Coinbase Ventures, Shopify, Polygon and Protocol Labs. Founded in 2021, thirdweb is developing the infrastructure layer for Web3 that could enable more seamless application development across blockchains.