The crypto winter thaws as leading startups raise over $115 million in fresh funding, signaling a promising outlook for the industry this fall. Seed rounds this week focused on gaming, custody, infrastructure, healthcare, intelligence, and more, with Andreessen Horowitz's crypto fund leading multiple top investments.
Topping the week's raises, Proof of Play, an on-chain game studio founded by Farmville creator Amitt Mahajan, closed a $33 million seed round led by a16z crypto. The funding will fuel Proof of Play's mission to pioneer a new era of blockchain gaming, where assets are interoperable, gameplay is composable, and both players and developers truly own the games.
Proof of Play's current hit title is Pirate Nation, an NFT RPG with on-chain gameplay that allows other developers to build experiences on top of it. a16z crypto praised the startup's commitment to gaming principles of ownership, openness, and permanence. They also lauded Mahajan's proven ability to create viral sensations, predicting Pirate Nation and future Proof of Play titles will engage millions.
Custody and Infrastructure Focus on Institutions and Data Integrity
For enterprises seeking custody and trading of digital assets, startup Bastion emerged from stealth this week with $25 million in seed funding led by a16z crypto. Bastion aims to provide regulated crypto services tailored to institutions. The founders previously held senior roles as CTO and CSO at a16z crypto, attracting further investment from Nomura and other firms.
Jiritsu raised $10.2 million for its verifiable computing platform that enables precise tracking of crypto assets and NFTs. The technology produces trustworthy data trails without revealing private information. Investors see broad potential in Jiritsu's innovations to expand institutional onboarding and DeFi integrity.
Healthcare, Intelligence, Social, and More Attract Millions
Meanwhile, Briya drew $11.5 million in a round led by Team8 to further develop its blockchain platform for healthcare data exchange. Providing patients control over their information, Briya could resolve pressing issues of fragmented, insecure medical records.
On-chain intelligence startup Bubblemaps raised €3 million to scale its data analytics service. AI-powered price predictions, wallet tracking, and other insights help crypto investors, funds, and institutions make informed decisions.
Social app Orb closed $2.3 million in funding to continue decentralizing content creation. By rewarding creators with tokens, Orb aims to shift power away from big tech platforms.
Bullish Signs After a Harsh Crypto Winter
This flurry of major backing indicates renewed optimism in blockchain technology after the crypto market decline. Investors are positioning startups in key sectors like gaming, infrastructure, and data to tap into the next growth wave. While macro conditions remain uncertain, validators are advancing the ecosystem during this builder phase.
The variety of products gaining support also demonstrates mainstream use cases are continuing to develop around digital assets and decentralized models. Innovations in healthcare, social, institutional services, and more will help drive incremental adoption among new demographics.
Furthermore, the caliber of investors engaging—from a16z crypto to global banks—signals confidence in both blockchain's future and these startups' abilities to lead the next generation. Their capital and experience can accelerate mainstream breakthroughs.
Still Early Days for Technology With Immense Potential
While crucial funding now flows to builders, it's important to note blockchain technology remains extremely young. The internet went through booms and busts for decades before reaching ubiquity. Crypto, too, will see more volatility as innovations scale. Not all startups will succeed, but those advancing key pillars lay groundwork for coming exponential growth.
Patient capital must sustain promising projects through various cycles. Companies like a16z crypto with long time horizons and technical expertise can nurture this early ecosystem toward stability and maturity. Consequently, selective funding for trailblazers today could create industry titans in the next decade.
For true believers, crypto's ethos of decentralization and empowerment remains compelling despite market swings. The outlook grows brighter as funding returns and builders ship products that solve real needs. With these latest millions deployed, the future continues to unfold.
Is Now the Time to Re-Enter Crypto Investing?
The sudden influx of capital into crypto startups seems to signal a bottoming of the recent bear market. Does this mark the ideal moment to re-engage with blockchain investing before a recovery takes hold?
While these raises do reflect renewed optimism, more extreme caution remains prudent in the near term. The macro outlook remains highly uncertain, with rising interest rates and potential recession looming. Crypto correlations with speculative tech means significant volatility likely persists. More months of rangebound trading could occur.
However, for long-term investors, valuations appear highly attractive relative to fundamentals. High-conviction projects with usage and community adoption seem primed to outperform through the next cycle. Savvy re-entry now, with prudent risk management, could produce substantial gains in coming years. But restraint and discipline remain essential.
How Can the Industry Bring Women Into Crypto?
Cryptocurrency has faced criticism for being male-dominated. This funding week continues that trend, with female founders strikingly absent among major raises. What steps can leaders take to make crypto more welcoming for women investors and builders?
The community must proactively show that crypto is for everyone. Conferences and media should highlight diverse voices. Investors ought to seek outstanding female founders. Projects must take safety and civility seriously while emphasizing education. Leaders should speak out against toxicity.
Importantly, solutions to broader societal issues like sexism require attention. Crypto cannot isolate itself from these concerns. At its best, the industry's ethos of openness and empowerment should create accepting environments where all can thrive on merits and contributions. There is no easy fix, but conscious steps toward inclusion can make meaningful progress.