Top 10 Projects that raised capital In February

Top 10 Projects that raised capital In February

In February 2024, $660 million was raised by crypto startups across 131 unique rounds. These projects span various sectors such as Bitcoin Economy, Interoperability, Gaming, and A.I., and have secured funding ranging from $1.25 million to $15 million.


Crypto fundraising is picking up again. At the start of the year what is an excellent year for crypto price-wise, venture investors have regained their risk appetite (and have once more proven to be followers, not leaders).

In Febuary 2024, $660 million was raised by crypto startups across 131 unique rounds. These projects span various sectors such as Bitcoin Economy, Interoperability, Gaming, and A.I., and have secured funding ranging from $1.25 million to $14 million. The trend is clearly up as displayed by the chart below.

Fundraising round

There were a few crypto sectors that stood out. After being largely ignored for years, the Bitcoin Economy, which comprises blockchains and DeFi projects for the leading cryptocurrency, has garnered significant attention, resulting in numerous funding rounds for Bitcoin Economy projects. The merger of AI and Crypto also stood out as one of the most funded (and exciting) categories. Without further ado, let's take a look at the 10 most interesting projects that raised capital in February 2024.

Kip Protocol

KIP Protocol, a Web3 base layer designed for artificial intelligence, recently concluded a strategic funding round led by Animoca Ventures. The protocol aims to create a secure and gas-efficient infrastructure that enables AI creators, such as app developers, model makers, and data owners, to deploy their work on the Web3 space while retaining full ownership, interacting and transacting with other AI assets, and monetizing their creations without losing control over access.

The funding round attracted a diverse group of investors from around the world, including investment DAOs, Web3 community leaders, and funds, indicating a broad interest in KIP Protocol's mission to democratize AI and counter the monopolistic tendencies of tech giants in the AI space. This diversity reflects KIP Protocol's goal to make AI more accessible and beneficial across various spheres of human activity.

The initiative is driven by the vision to protect digital property rights for AI value creators, facilitating a fairer monetization pathway for even the smallest participants in the AI ecosystem. By leveraging a three-layered architecture powered by the $KIP token, the platform aims to safeguard the ownership rights of key stakeholders and catalyze the adoption of decentralized AI. The first decentralized application on KIP Protocol is expected to launch in the first half of 2024.

This funding and the development of KIP Protocol are steps towards creating a future where AI can advance through experimentation and where the economic benefits of AI are available to a wider range of creators, not just large tech companies.

Kip Protocol

Hivello

Hivello, a company at the forefront of Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN), successfully raised USD $2.5 million in a recently expanded funding round. The additional funds will be used to enhance Hivello's technological capabilities, speed up product development, and solidify its position as a leader in providing DePIN services​​​​.

The investment attracted significant attention from both new and returning investors, highlighting the demand for accessible decentralized DePIN infrastructure. Notable investors included Blockchange, Cypher Capital, MH Ventures, Primal Capital, Contango Digital Assets, and Candaq, joining earlier supporters such as NGC, Blockchain Founders Fund, and IDG from the initial pre-seed investment round. This influx of capital indicates a robust endorsement of Hivello's team and the potential within the DePIN industry​​.

Founded by Dom Carosa, Andrew Smith, and Justin Rosenberg, Hivello aims to change access to decentralized services globally. It provides a platform for users to participate in Web3 projects and generate passive income without needing blockchain expertise. By enabling users to mine DePIN protocols for Web3 applications through simple app installations on devices like computers, routers, and storage nodes, Hivello is making significant strides towards democratizing access to the DePIN ecosystem​​.

The future looks promising for Hivello as it leverages this recent round of funding to further its mission. The company's commitment to expanding the helium digital network by supplying Helium hotspots indicates its dedication to enhancing decentralized services and infrastructure.

Hivello

Bitlight Labs

Bitlight Labs, a blockchain solutions provider focusing on the Bitcoin ecosystem, has successfully raised funds in a seed round led by Gate Ventures, the venture capital arm of Gate.io. This initiative underscores a growing interest in enhancing Bitcoin's infrastructure, specifically by utilizing RGB protocols to introduce Layer 2 smart contract technology to Bitcoin. The funding will support Bitlight Labs in its mission to tackle Bitcoin's scalability issues while maintaining the network's inherent safety and privacy guarantees.

The foundation of Bitlight Labs' technology is the RGB protocol, which offers more sophisticated smart contract functionalities than currently available with Bitcoin's Lightning Network. This protocol allows for the inspection, execution, and independent verification of smart contracts at any time without additional costs, addressing a crucial gap in Bitcoin's scalability and functional capabilities.

One of the core products being developed by Bitlight Labs is the Bitlight Wallet, a non-custodial wallet designed for compatibility with RGB assets and the Lightning Network. This product aims to facilitate the growth of the RGB-LN ecosystem by enabling users to engage with smart contracts over Bitcoin in a more efficient and scalable manner.

The investment in Bitlight Labs by Gate Ventures and others highlights a renewed interest in building upon the Bitcoin platform, recognizing its potential for wider adoption and the need to expand its capabilities through innovations such as smart contracts.

Bitlight Labs

Omega

Omega, a pioneering platform in the blockchain sector, has successfully raised $6 million in funding. This significant financial boost aims to better the Bitcoin and DeFi ecosystem. The capital injection will be strategically used to enhance Omega's infrastructure, focusing on scalability, security, and user experience. By doing so, Omega plans to bridge the gap between Bitcoin and DeFi, offering users innovative solutions that leverage the best of both worlds.

The funding will also support the expansion of Omega's team, enabling the company to attract top talent in the blockchain industry. This move is crucial for driving innovation and maintaining a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving DeFi space. Furthermore, part of the investment will be allocated to marketing efforts, ensuring that Omega's solutions reach a wider audience and drive adoption among users and investors alike.

Looking ahead, Omega's vision for the future is ambitious. The company aims to establish itself as a key player in the DeFi ecosystem, providing users with secure, efficient, and accessible financial services. By continuously innovating and expanding its offerings, Omega seeks to contribute to the growth and maturity of the DeFi sector, ultimately making decentralized financial services more mainstream and accessible to everyone.


Omega

Startale Labs

Startale Labs is known for developing Japan's largest Web3 products, Astar Network, and the Startale Web3 Cloud, has recently raised an additional $3.5 million in funding. This funding comes from UOB Venture Management and Samsung Next, in a seed extension round, bringing their total seed funding to $7 million. This includes a previous investment of $3.5 million from Sony Network Communications in September 2023.

The funds will be utilized to further develop Web3 products and to recruit top talent globally. Startale's strategic fundraising from leading Asian companies underscores its ambition to become the premier Web3 company in Asia. This ambition is supported by a joint venture with Sony Network Communications to develop a blockchain, alongside the deployment of the beta version of Startale Web3 Cloud. This service simplifies the deployment and management of blockchain infrastructure for developers. With the additional funds, Startale plans to accelerate its development efforts.

CEO Sota Watanabe expressed gratitude for the support from leading Asian enterprises, highlighting the company's rapid progress since its establishment in January 2023. The goal is to invest in product development and recruitment to establish Startale as a leading Web3 company in Asia and beyond.

Startale Labs is dedicated to accelerating the mass adoption of Web3 by developing Japan's largest public blockchain, Astar Network, and providing Web3 infrastructure through the Startale Web3 Cloud.

Startale Labs

Superform Labs

Superform Labs, a crypto startup co-founded by former BlockTower Capital investors and a former Microsoft product manager, has successfully raised $6.5 million. This funding, led by Polychain Capital, includes contributions from BlockTower Capital, Maven 11, Circle Ventures, and other firms, as well as angel investors like Arthur Hayes and Marc Bhargava. The seed and angel funding rounds were announced alongside the early access launch of Superform's marketplace.

Superform Labs has introduced a cross-chain crypto yield marketplace designed to simplify the use of DeFi for users. This platform is permissionless and allows DeFi protocols to list their vaults or asset pools, where crypto users can deposit funds to earn yield. Superform aims to make discovering, depositing into, and managing yield straightforward by eliminating the need for swapping and bridging, offering all actions from a single interface.

The funding will be utilized to further develop this marketplace, aiming to make DeFi more accessible to everyone. The founders, Blake Richardson, Vikram Arun, and Alex Cort, were motivated by the challenges they faced managing yield positions across multiple blockchains daily. Their solution, Superform, represents their vision to create a more user-friendly DeFi environment.

Superform's future plans include expanding its services across more blockchains, beyond the seven EVM-compatible networks it currently supports. The company is also launching a rewards program, SuperFrens, to engage users through a gamified, on-chain system. This program will reward users with NFTs for participating in competitions and achieving high ranks on its leaderboard, with potential future benefits including exclusive rewards and possibly native token airdrops.

Superform Labs

Ultiverse


Ultiverse has successfully completed a strategic investment round, raising $4 million at a valuation of $150 million. This round saw participation from notable investors such as IDG Capital, Sequoia, Binance Labs, DeFiance Capital, Animoca Brands, GSR, and Morningstar Ventures itself. The funding will be used to further develop Ultiverse's AI-powered platform for Web3 games.

Ultiverse is pioneering a new approach to digital interaction by creating an expansive gaming world, profoundly integrated with AI and underpinned by blockchain technology. This ambitious project aims to redefine the realm of digital possibilities, drawing inspiration from the immersive worlds of iconic movies like "Ready Player One," "Free Guy," and "Westworld." However, it transcends these inspirations by incorporating cutting-edge blockchain technology, thereby crafting not just a game but a holistic digital society.

At its core, Ultiverse is designed to empower users to conceive, create, and inhabit digital realms that are as immersive and engaging as any seen in popular culture, but with the added dimensions and benefits of AI and blockchain integration. This integration allows for the creation of on-chain games, the utilization of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), the development of Decentralized Applications (DApps), and the establishment of a comprehensive media matrix. These elements collectively form the backbone of Ultiverse, offering users a wide array of interactive, creative, and economic opportunities within a singular, unified digital ecosystem.

The vision of Ultiverse is to cultivate a digital society where users can play, create, and connect in myriad ways. This society is not just a platform for entertainment but a space where creativity is incentivized and valued, and where the boundaries between virtual and real-world value blur. By leveraging large language models, Ultiverse introduces the first AI Protocol, enhancing product design and expediting the creation of a self-sustaining AI gaming world. This protocol is a cornerstone in realizing the vision of a gaming world that is not only vast and engaging but also intelligent and responsive.

DePhy

DePHY has successfully completed a seed funding round, raising $40 million. This investment underscores the significant potential investors see in DePHY's mission to revolutionize the DePIN space. The startup aims to significantly reduce the costs and timeframes associated with developing DePIN projects by offering open-source hardware solutions, a decentralized messaging layer, and automated tokenomics execution.

A standout feature of DePHY's infrastructure is its messaging layer, which facilitates secure, verifiable, and rapid data transfer from hardware to the blockchain. By leveraging advanced technologies like Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) and Zero-Knowledge Oracles, DePHY ensures data integrity and low-latency communication. This enhances the reliability and efficiency of DePIN projects, making the technology more accessible and practical for a wider range of applications.

Moreover, DePHY has received a grant from the Solana Foundation to deploy a trusted Decentralized Device Identity (DID) solution on the Solana blockchain. This move is expected to broaden DePHY's impact and reach within the blockchain ecosystem.

The successful funding round attracted support from a diverse group of venture capital firms, including Blockchain Builders Fund, Foresight Ventures, IoTeX, Paramita, FutureMoneyGroup, Waterdrip Capital, DefinanceX, PAKA, and Candaq Fintech Group. DePHY's participation in the Stanford Blockchain Accelerator and DePIN Surf Accelerator further highlights its commitment to innovation and community development.

With the funds raised, DePHY plans to advance its ecosystem and foster developer participation. The company has already facilitated the launch of five projects on its platform and intends to unveil a grant program to attract new projects and developers.

DePHY

Talus Network

Talus Network has successfully completed its first funding round, raising $3 million. The round was led by Polychain Capital, with additional investments from dao5, Hash3, TRGC, WAGMI Ventures, and Inception Capital. Notably, angel investors from major tech and blockchain firms, including Nvidia, IBM, Blue7, Symbolic Capital, and Render Network, also contributed to the funding.

The primary goal of Talus Network is to democratize on-chain AI through the Move programming language, aiming to create a more equitable and accessible technological future. This initiative reflects a significant step towards integrating AI capabilities directly into blockchain technology, enabling more sophisticated, decentralized applications and services.

The funds raised will be used to further develop the Talus Network's infrastructure and capabilities, focusing on making on-chain AI more accessible to developers and users alike. By leveraging the Move programming language, Talus Network seeks to simplify the integration of AI technologies into blockchain projects, thereby fostering innovation and expanding the potential use cases for blockchain and AI.

Looking ahead, Talus Network envisions a future where on-chain AI plays a crucial role in various sectors, including finance, healthcare, and supply chain management. The network aims to serve as a foundational platform that supports the development and deployment of AI-driven blockchain applications, making advanced technologies more accessible to a broader audience. This initiative not only promises to enhance the efficiency and functionality of blockchain applications but also contributes to the broader goal of creating a more inclusive and technologically advanced future.

Talus Network

Ethena

Ethena Network has successfully raised $14 million in a strategic funding round. The round was co-led by Dragonfly and the family office of BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes, Maelstrom.

Following a stealth launch in December, which saw over $224 million in total value locked (TVL), Ethena has publicly launched its USDe stablecoin. With the potential to surpass $1 billion in TVL, USDe is poised to become a significant competitor to Tether, as noted by Arthur Hayes, who is also a founding advisor of Ethena. The concept of USDe was inspired by Hayes' vision for a crypto-native, derivative-backed stablecoin that operates independently of the traditional financial banking system.

USDe is a stablecoin that maintains price stability through a "delta-neutral" hedging strategy across both centralized and decentralized venues. It is backed by a combination of a long staked ether position and a short ether position, ensuring that any losses or gains are offset to provide a dollar-denominated return profile. This approach is similar to traditional cash and carry strategies with treasuries and futures. Users can create USDe by depositing U.S. dollars, ETH, or liquid staking tokens as collateral.

In addition to USDe, Ethena has introduced a dollar-denominated savings instrument known as an "Internet bond." This product accrues value through sUSDe (the staked version of USDe) by capturing both the inherent staked ether yield and the basis in futures markets. Over the past two months, the bond has offered an annualized yield of between 12-20%.

With the new capital, Ethena plans to expand its current team of 12 by hiring quant engineers and business development executives, particularly focusing on growth in Asia. This strategic move aims to strengthen Ethena's position in the stablecoin market and further develop its innovative financial products.

Ehtena Labs

It is encouraging to witness an increase in capital flowing into the early stages of the crypto industry, following a period of declining funding. Sectors that are popular among venture investors tend to become popular among the general public around 12-18 months later. Make sure to explore and utilize these early-stage projects, as you may receive handsome rewards through an airdrop!

That’s it for this month’s top 10 crypto projects that raised funding! If you’d like to receive the next edition, and all our other top content, directly in your inbox, subscribe to our no-nonsense weekly newsletter here!

Disclaimer: Nothing on this site should be construed as a financial investment recommendation. It’s important to understand that investing is a high-risk activity. Investments expose money to potential loss.

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