While crypto naysayers are giddy with glee and newcomers to the space are worried about “crypto winter,” real capital seems to be deaf to the conversation.
Regardless of the market’s recent drawdown, billions of dollars are flowing into the system from nearly every direction. As JPMorgan points out in a research report published today, the Terra/Luna saga has done little to deter investment:
“Thus far there is little evidence of VC funding drying up post-Terra’s collapse. Of the $25 billion VC funding year-to-date, almost $4 billion came after Terra… Our best guess is the VC funding will continue and a long winter similar to 2018/2019 would be averted.”
Here’s what we have seen in just the past week:
- StarkWare, an Ethereum scaling company focused on ZK-rollups, raised $100 million at an $8 billion valuation. To put this raise in perspective, StarkWare raised at a $2 billion valuation only 6 months ago.
- Babel Finance, a crypto lending business, raised $80 million at a $2 billion valuation.
- LayerZero Labs is in the process of raising at a $3 billion. Putting this one in perspective as well, the company raised $135 million at a $1 billion valuation as recently as late March.
- Flowcarbon, a blockchain-enabled carbon credit trading platform backed by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, has raised $70 million in its first major funding round.
- Protego Trust Bank targets $2 billion valuation after quietly raising $70 million.
- a16z today announced a new, $4.5 billion fund. Of the $4.5 billion, approximately $1.5 billion will go to seed investments, and $3 billion to venture investments. a16z has now raised a total of $7.6 billion across their four crypto focused funds.
- Standard Crypto has raised a new $500 million fund, according to a report from Axios.
- Volt Capital, a crypto firm focused on early-stage deals, raised $50 million for its second fund today.
Mergers & Aquistions:
As we predicted at the beginning of this year, 2022 will shape up to be a year of M&A.
This week, CNBC reported that FTX is in talks with at least three privately held brokerages: Webull, Public, and Apex Clearing. If the reports are true, it could be proof that FTX is looking to gather a large swath of traditional equity investors quickly and at a discounted price.
This is all happening at the same time that FTXs CEO purchased a 7.6% stake in Robinhood (HOOD).