MoonPay Raises $400 Million in Second Round Funding, Valuation Now at $3.4 billion

MoonPay Raises $400 Million in Second Round Funding, Valuation Now at $3.4 billion

US-based crypto payment startup, MoonPay has completed a $400 million capital injection raise bringing the total valuation of the company to $3.4 billion, a blog post from The Information reads. The funding aims to enhance the features of the platform and boost the global adoption of cryptocurrencies.

This funding round was co-led by venture capital firm Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management aiming to grow the user acquisition rates.

MoonPay launched in 2019 with a simple aim to increase cryptocurrency adoption across the globe. With a team of just two young entrepreneurs — co-founders Ivan Soto-Wright and Victor Faramond — the company set out to create a simple and secure software solution that would enable people from all over the world to participate in the “biggest digital revolution since the internet” the company’s blog reads.

The platform allows users to use their credit and debit cards to buy crypto assets or other digital assets on marketplaces such as OpenSea, Bitcoin.com, Abra, ZenGo, Spot, and Trust Wallet.

Last month, MoonPay partnered with the crypto wallet provider Blocto to provide a fiat on-ramp to the Flow blockchain and easier access to NFT marketplaces. Earlier in the month, the company announced a strategic partnership with Bitmart exchange allowing users to better optimize the trading experience.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Celsius Network Raises $400M Led by Canada’s 2nd Largest Pension Fund to Reassure Regulators

Celsius Network Raises $400M Led by Canada’s 2nd Largest Pension Fund to Reassure Regulators

Cryptocurrency lender platform Celsius Network has raised $400 million at a valuation for more than $3 billion in new equity funding from investors despite seeing increased scrutiny from US regulators.

Canada’s second-largest pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) led the funding round along with WestCap, a fund founded by former Airbnb and Blackstone executive Laurence Tosi.

Last year, Celsius had raised $30 million in an equity round led by USDT issuer Tether at a pre-money valuation of $120 million.

The crypto lender has been subject to regulatory pushback by state regulators of Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, and New Jersey in the US for its lending products. The lender says the company’s interest earnings accounts violate securities laws and don’t clarify to its customers if their deposits are protected.

With its latest funding round, CEO Alex Mashinsky Mashinsky told the Financial Times, he hopes to reassure regulators about the stability of the business and open the doors to mainstream financial markets.

“It’s not $ 400 million, it’s the credibility that comes with the people who wrote those checks.”

The company currently manages $25 billion of crypto assets, up from $10 billion just six months back in March. Celsius Network has more than one million registered users.

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Author: AnTy

Solana’s DEX, Mango Markets, Raises $70 Million in MNGO Token Sale

Solana’s DEX, Mango Markets, Raises $70 Million in MNGO Token Sale

Mango Markets, a decentralized exchange platform on the Solana blockchain, has raised $70 million in a just-concluded token sale.

MNGO Tokens Now Listed On FTX And Openserum

Investors initially locked up over $500 million in USDC in the DEX as they raced to get a piece of MNGO tokens. However, the token sale closed at $70M.

While announcing the conclusion of the token sale, Mango Markets revealed that the MNGO tokens are currently on offer on popular crypto exchange FTX and derivatives exchange Openserum.

Solana first introduced Mango markets in May this year as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that also offers spot markets, perpetual futures, and lending. The project claims to provide users with lightning-fast network speed and near-zero transaction fees.

Liquidity is sourced from its pools and also from Serum, the Uniswap equivalent on Solana. Apart from being the governance token of the Mango Markets, Mango tokens give token holders the power to upgrade the protocol as they see fit. It also allows token holders to create incentives to reward participation and drive usage of the protocol.

Mango’s token sale appears to be one of the largest this year. Many decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols raise between $1 million and $15 million in seed-stage funding. However, Mango made a substantial $70 million. This rise from a budding project reflects the rising fortunes of the Solana blockchain.

The Solana Blockchain Rapidly Evolving

Mango markets’ $70 million token sale shows the growth and popularity of the Solana blockchain. The blockchain has seen strong support from developers and users over the past few months. This is because of its vital role in solving problems faced by Ethereum users regarding congested networks and high gas fees.

The number of projects building on Solana has increased tremendously. Currently, there are more than 400 projects in Solana’s ecosystem. Some of the most notable projects include Serum, Raydium, Maps.me, Chainlink, Terra, Audius, USDC, USDT, and Pyth Network.

The networks based on Solana are also thriving. An example is Saber Labs which recently secured $7.7 million in an initial seed fundraising round led by early-stage venture capital firm Race Capital. Another is Wormhole, a communication bridge based on Solana that launched its mainnet to support inter-blockchain message transfers.

One of the principal backers of the Solana blockchain is Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of crypto exchange FTX. Bankman-Fried has invested heavily into many of the projects currently built on the Solana blockchain.

This can be seen in the $314 million Solana Labs raised in June. Some of the major investors of the funding were Alameda Research (a firm backing FTX exchange), alongside Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

BitDAO Raises $230 Million in a Funding Round Led by PayPal Co-Founder, Peter Thiel

BitDAO Raises $230 Million in a Funding Round Led by PayPal Co-Founder, Peter Thiel

  • The quiet market keeps rumbling as investors unload large amounts of cash on yet another blockchain project!

Led by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, BitDAO, a new decentralized governance protocol, raised $230 million in a bid to build the largest asset pool led by a decentralized autonomous organization, commonly referred to as DAOs.

The funding round welcomed top investors alongside Thiel, who led the round, and three of his firms – Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, and Dragonfly Capital – also participated in the raise. Other investors in the round included hedge fund manager Alan Howard, Jump Capital, and Spartan Group.

A DAO represents an organization that has no central organization leading it. Instead, the governance of these organizations lies coded on smart contracts stored on a blockchain hence have immutable properties. BitDAO, now ranking as one of the largest DAOs, aims to “promote and propel the mass adoption of open finance and decentralized tokenized economy” with the latest funding, a statement reads.

The core objective of the funding is to grow the decentralized finance (DeFi) space by building research and development (R&D) centers, providing grants to DeFi developers, and topping up liquidity on blockchain projects.

In a press release, BitDAO stated its goal to promote and support the DeFi sector financially and in talent resourcing to boost industry growth. Moreover, the organization will also use the funding to employ hundreds of people innovating in the DeFi sector and solve various developmental challenges in the ecosystem.

The firm welcomed its first partner in the Bybit crypto exchange, one of the largest digital asset exchanges in the world. Bybit aims to make yearly contributions to the DAO of up to 2.5 basis points (bp) of its futures contracts’ trading volume directly to the BitDAO Treasury. As of current figures, the yearly contribution is expected to generate over $1 billion annually, the statement further reads.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Karura Network Raises $100M in Push for A Slot in Kusama Parachain Auction

Karura Network Raises $100M in Push for A Slot in Kusama Parachain Auction

Decentralized finance network, Karura has raised $100 million ahead of the parachain auctions of Polkadot’s canary network, Kusama.

The money, equivalent to 200,000 KSM tokens, came from a crowd loan that included more than 8,500 contributors from Karura’s portal.

Kaura’s Contributors Gain KAR Tokens

In an announcement, Karura disclosed that more than 900 addresses on the Kraken exchange also contributed to the funding round.

For every Kusama native token (KSM) given, the contributors gained 12 Karura’s native token (KAR) back. These KAR tokens can be used once Karura’s parachain lease ends after 48 weeks.

Karura disclosed that it is planning on running a parachain that provides a full suite of decentralized finance (DeFi) services on Kusama. This would include a cross-chain automated market maker and a stablecoin collateralized by various cross-chain assets.

Karura is the sister network of Acala, one of Polkadot’s early DeFi hubs. Both Karura and Acala are backed by some of the biggest venture funds in the crypto industry, like Coinbase Ventures.

Co-founder and CEO of Acala and Karura Ruitao Su, said that the incredible support Karura has received so far depicts a growing demand for interoperable, decentralized financial products. Bette Chen, Karura’s co-founder and COO, added:

“We are blown away by the community support for Karura’s launch, as we bring DeFi to the Kusama community. It’s exciting to see the community embrace this new, ethical, effective model for bootstrapping blockchain projects. We are making history together.”

Karura is a token trading application built to provide users with a platform to build and use scalable DeFi applications without large transaction fees and external operations between chains.

Acala plans to operate its DeFi parachains on Polkadot and Kusama to serve both communities. Eventually, both networks will be interoperable once Polkadot and Kusama are bridged. DOT -7.28% Polkadot / USD DOTUSD $ 20.89
-$1.52-7.28%
Volume 1.51 b Change -$1.52 Open $20.89 Circulating 951.58 m Market Cap 19.88 b
7 h Karura Network Raises $100M in Push for A Slot in Kusama Parachain Auction 3 d Polkadot Ecosystem Hits a Milestone as Kusama’s First Functional Parachain Goes Live 1 w ETH 2.0 is Already the Largest Proof of Stake Network and Vitalik isn’t Concerned About Competitors
KSM -12.78% Kusama / USD KSMUSD $ 413.92
-$52.90-12.78%
Volume 470.86 m Change -$52.90 Open $413.92 Circulating 8.47 m Market Cap 3.51 b
7 h Karura Network Raises $100M in Push for A Slot in Kusama Parachain Auction 3 d Polkadot Ecosystem Hits a Milestone as Kusama’s First Functional Parachain Goes Live 2 w Polkadot Not Producing Blocks, Network Validators Asked to Downgrade Nodes

Founded in 2019 by Gavin Wood, Kusama is a multi-chain network that allows blockchains to connect for interoperability, scalability, and plug-and-play network security.

Demand Of DOT And KSM Tokens Surge

The past week has been somewhat bullish for DOT and KSM. This may be because network developers are buying the tokens to bid for Parachain slots on the projects.

Another factor that can be attributed to the bullish trend of the assets is Venture capitalist Master Ventures’ recent announcement.

Master Ventures announced its launch of a $30 million venture to support and finance Parachain bids of tier-1 blockchain projects who want to win a Parachain slot on the Polkadot Relay Chain.

The firm also noted that its proceeds would assist early-stage projects in launching atop the Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems.

This announcement caused DOT to rise by up to 27.91% to $29.21 last week. Kusama’s KSM also climbed by up to 39.35% to $511.91 in the same period.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

China’s BSN Developer Raises $30 Million Series A Round to Boost Global Market Presence

China’s BSN Developer Raises $30 Million Series A Round to Boost Global Market Presence

Announced on Wednesday, China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN) developer, Red Date, has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round led by Hong Kong crypto-focused firm, Kenetic. The funding aims to enhance development on the network, increase its team members and boost market adoption across the globe, a statement read.

The closed round funding also saw notable financiers join in, including the Prosperity7, the venture arm of the second largest firm in the world, Saudi Aramco, Swiss financial giant, Pictet Group, and one of the largest banks in Thailand, Bangkok Bank.

The Blockchain Service Network launched mid-last year with an aim to bolster the development of decentralized applications on public and private blockchains. Over the past year, BSN has seen notable blockchains partnerships, including Huobi China, which will provide DLT service solutions, Chainlink decentralized oracles, and Cosmos network.

The project was initiated under the cabinet-level economic policy committee, National Development and Reform Commission, and is being developed under the State Information Center of China.

The project aims at introducing innovative blockchain systems to developing countries in order to close the gap in financial inclusion. Speaking on the recent additional funding, Jehan Chu, managing partner at Kenetic, said Red Date would “use blockchain to help drive financial and technology inclusion for the next 50 years” to these countries. Chu added in a statement to Coindesk,

“There is a rebalancing of global technology infrastructure happening that gives greater access to underdeveloped and underrepresented countries.”

The new funding will also expand the team members working on BSN in order to fasten the launch of its cloud computing resources, which will greatly reduce the costs and barriers of building decentralized applications (DApps). Yifan He, CEO of Red Date, said,

“The Internet’s Golden Age was only made possible when the cost of building websites was reduced to near-zero.”

In a shared statement to BEG, Red Date also added the funding would be used to increase BSN’s presence in the global market and the domestic market as well.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Mythical Games Raises $75 Million Funding To Boost NFT-Based Gaming

Mythical Games Raises $75 Million Funding To Boost NFT-Based Gaming

The non-fungible token (NFT) market is no raging as much as it used to at the start of the year as demand from retail investors dropped sharply in Q2 2021. Despite the downturn, investments in NFT are still well alive as venture firms believe the NFT market will return to its glory days in the near future.

Mythical Games, the creator of the popular NFT blockchain game, Blankos Block party, raised $75 million in Series B funding led by growth equity fund WestCap Group. The funding aims to expand the firm’s blockchain gaming experiences and boost the development of the Blankos Block Party game.

The Series B funding round saw existing, and new investors participate in the round. New investors in the firm include 01 Advisors and influencer and serial investor Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund. The Series B funding brings the total funds raised by Mythical Games to $120 million to date.

The main attraction to Mythical Games is the Blankos Block Party, a blockchain-based NFT collectibles game that allows players to create their games and own their virtual worlds. The game is built around user-generated content and focuses on integrating the latest social media trends. Blankos also includes the Mythical Marketplace, where users can buy and sell avatar figures and in-game assets collected within the game or created by top artists and game developers in partnership with the firm.

Notwithstanding, the platform also includes the Mythical Economic Engine, which connects the gaming platform to other gaming engines and helps new game creators build regulatory-friendly NFT collectibles. Mythical Games CEO John Linden tells TechCrunch,

“With any new market like [NFTs], it goes through all these different cycles.”

“We think this will actually change gaming for the long haul. The more we talk to game studios, we’re finding more and more potential use cases.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Flare Network Raises $11 Million in Funding to Bring Smart Contracts to All Blockchains

Flare Network Raises $11 Million in Funding to Bring Smart Contracts to All Blockchains

Decentralized finance protocol Flare raised $11.3 million in another funding round supported by heavyweights in the crypto industry. Launched at the tail end of 2020, Flare, a Turing complete Federated Byzantine Agreement-based (FBA) network, announced Hong Kong-based firm Kenetic Capital led the round, including top venture capital firms such as Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Coinfund.

The funding aims to boost the development of smart contract functionalities on blockchains that do not offer native support for smart contracts. At launch, Flare is set to support smart contract functionalities for Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and XRP.

Other participants in the current funding round include crypto VCs such as LD Capital, cFund, Wave Financial, Borderless Capital, and Backend Capital. Adding to the $11 million fund are top crypto private investors Charlie Lee, Vinny Lingham, and Terra CEO, Do Kwan.

The platform’s main goal is to bring additional utility to other non-smart contract blockchains,” Flare CEO Hugo Philion shared in a statement. Supported by Ripple in 2019, Flare is now awaiting its mainnet launch to create a robust and complete blockchain ecosystem.

“The investment brings into the Flare ecosystem key participants in the investment community, together with major exchanges, market makers, blockchain founders, and entrepreneurs that have an interest in driving meaningful developments and participation on Flare.”

Flare Protocol is also planning one of the largest airdrops in crypto so far by awarding every eligible XRP account on the snapshot taken on December 12th, 2020, its native Spark tokens. Despite hundreds of crypto exchanges taking part in the airdrop, close to 2 Billion XRP locked on Coinbase will miss the Spark airdrop, BEG reported last December.

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Author: Lujan Odera

DeFi Zapper Raises $15M from Framework, Which Raised $100M From Big US Institutional Investors

DeFi Dashboard Zapper Raises $15M from Framework, Which Itself Raised $100M From Big US Institutional Investors

Mark Cuban and actor Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures also invested in Zapper to “usher in a new era of user-friendly crypto experiences.”

DeFi dashboard, Zapper has raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Framework Ventures along with entrepreneur Mark Cuban and actor Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures.

Zapper currently supports 54 DeFi protocols and boasts 150,000 monthly active users, with the total transaction volume recently surpassing $3 billion.

The popular DeFi asset management tool allows users to view their balance, make a swap, stake, and yield from across multiple chains, and all of it in one place.

With this fresh capital, the startup aims to reduce the friction and provide a one-stop solution for the fragmented cryptocurrency sector.

“Zapper is one of the fastest-growing applications of any kind in crypto. Excited to join the board to help usher in a new era of user-friendly crypto experiences,” said Vance Spencer, co-founder of Framework Ventures.

In November, the project extended its seed round to gain backing from Delphi Digital and Coinbase. Framework Ventures and Libertus Capital led the original $1.5 million seed round in August 2020.

Other investors included Michael Dunworth, The LAO, CoinFund, Synthetix founder Kain WarwickNascent, ParaFi Capital, Scalar Capital, Distributed Global, Maven 11, DeFiance Capital, Spartan Group, Long Hash, Sino Global, Cooley LLP, and Aave co-founder and CEO Stani Kulechov.

An inclusive financial system

Framework Venture, the largest venture capital fund investing in decentralized finance that invested in Zapper, itself raised $100 million for its second fund round from big US institutional investors.

US venture capital and growth equity investment firm Accolade Partners and Hall Capital, one of the largest US registered investment advisors with about $42 billion in AUM, were the anchor investors. Some of the unnamed major US university endowments were also investors in the fund.

The Fund also raised $15 million in July 2019 for its first fund from one anchor investor. The freshly raised capital will help Framework support DeFi applications.

“Crypto is a technological wave that will touch almost every aspect of people’s lives in the coming decades. Blessed to be chasing the dream of a more inclusive and innovative financial system with my best friend, an incredible team, and incredible backers.”

Vance Spencer Co-founder Framework Ventures

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Author: AnTy

Block.one Raises $10B from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year

Block.one Raises $10 Billion from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year

After the record $4 billion ICO, Block.one has again managed to raise $300 million from Peter Thiel, Alan Howard, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, Galaxy Digital, and Nomura bank. EOS, meanwhile, is still down 60% from its 2018 ATH in the ongoing bull market.

Block.one, the software company behind the cryptocurrency EOS, has announced the launch of a new subsidiary Bullish Global.

Planned to be released this year itself, “Bullish” is a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange will be offering new automated market making, lending, and portfolio management tools, reads the official announcement on Tuesday.

The exchange will be utilizing the EOSIO software and EOS public blockchain “to produce a cryptographically validated, provable, and immutable audit trail of all transactions processed” on the platform.

Block.one has already raised more than $10 billion for this exchange.

While the initial investment of $100 million in cash, 164,000 BTC, and 20 million EOS came from Block.one itself, $300 million were raised from the big names like Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, Alan Howard, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, and global investment bank Nomura.

“Bullish balance sheet is strong, and its vertical integration offers stability and liquidity to the cryptocurrency space. I’m happy to join Bullish as an investor and advisor as it gets started on a long and fruitful journey,” said Thiel.

Block.one is the same company that raised a record $4 billion during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) mania and received backlash from ESO investors who also filed a lawsuit against it for misleading investors in believing that EOS would be decentralized.

Since its launch at the peak of the last bull market in Jan. 2018, EOS has fallen from the top 10 cryptos list to sit at 23rd place with just over $9.3 billion market cap. As of writing, EOS is trading around $10, still down 60% from its all-time high of $22.71 in April 2018. EOS 54.08% EOS / USD EOSUSD $ 14.28
$7.7254.08%
Volume 19.71 b Change $7.72 Open $14.28 Circulating 953.3 m Market Cap 13.61 b
9 h Block.one Raises $10 Billion from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year 11 h Tech Stocks Dragging Bitcoin, Ether, & Crypto’s Down, But ‘Fundamentals Still Strong’ 6 d Bitcoin and Ether Aren’t the Top Traded Crypto’s on Binance Or the Biggest South Korean Exchange

The company is launching the exchange Bullish which will have Peter Thiel, Alan Howard, Richard Li, and Christian Angermayer as its senior advisors.

“Successfully bridging the gap between digital assets and institutional actors will shape the future of the financial sector as we witness greater mainstream adoption of digital currencies,” said Howard.

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Author: AnTy