According to the H1 2022 Crypto Fundraising Report, $30.3 billion has been raised by cryptocurrency startups in the first half of 2022. In 2021, even though there was a general slowdown in the cryptocurrency market, cryptocurrency received $30 billion in funding.
Clearly, investing and trading in cryptocurrency has become quite popular.
When it comes to crypto funding, more and more investors are getting into the foray. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest fundraising rounds in the history of cryptocurrency.
Circle Internet Financial raised $400 million in May 2021 with investments from Marshall Wace LLP, BlackRock, Fin Capital, and Fidelity. The previous valuation of Circle, the main developer of the stablecoin USDC was estimated to be around $3 billion. To date, Circle has facilitated above 100 million transactions by more than 1000 businesses and 10 million customers.
Circle had also partnered with Visa to allow people to take advantage of the combined strength of USDC stablecoin and Visa’s digital payment platform.
Bitmain, the cryptocurrency mining solution provider, raised nearly $422 million in a funding round in 2018. Some of the notable investors included Pavilion Capital, Palace Investment Company, Lioness Capital, Jumbo Sheen Group, Bluebell (Asia), and Crimson Capital China.
Bitmain is also the largest manufacturer of Bitcoin mining gear in the world. It also owns Antpool, a very popular Bitcoin mining pool. Antpool has about 13% of the computing power of the Antpool network. A short while after receiving the $422 million funding, Bitmain filed for an IPO. This was for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2018. However, the sale fell through due to Bitcoin crashing around that time.
BlockFi raised $350 million in March 2021 with investments from Tiger Global, Pomp Investments, Susquehanna Govt. Products, and Bain Capital Ventures. The previous valuation for BlockFi was estimated to be $435 million which increased to $3 billion after the funding round.
BlockFi was launched in 2017 and is one of the biggest cryptocurrency platforms in the world. It offers a wide range of products in many categories, including low-interest loans, and credit cards that offer cryptocurrency rewards. The platform has more than $10 billion in assets and more than 1 million users.
In June 2021, Solana Labs raised $314 million in a fundraising round. The investments came from VC Andreessen Horowitz, CMS Holdings, Alameda Research, Polychain Capital, and Blockchange Ventures. In return, the investors received SOL, Solana’s native token, whose current value is about $43.88 for each SOL. Over 19 billion transactions have been facilitated by Solana to date.
Dapper Labs, creators of NBA Top Shot, the fantasy basketball game raised more than $305 million in March 2021 from a group of around 30 investors. A few of the high-profile investors included Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan, Andreessen Horowitz, and Coatue Management. Some of the previous works of Dapper Labs include CryptoKitties, the very popular breedable collectibles on Ethereum.
Dapper Labs has also been instrumental in popularizing NFTs. NBA Top Shot has more than $500 million in sales with nearly 800,000 registered users. More than 338,000 of these users hold at least one NFT. One of the most expensive NFTs ever sold on the platform was the Lebron James jump which was sold for $208,000.
Cryptocurrency platform Bakkt raised $300 million in 2020 in its second funding round. In 2018 it had secured $182 million in funding. Notable investors included PayU, BCG Digital Ventures, and ICE (Intercontinental Exchange). Bakkt’s vision is to make trading cryptocurrencies as simple as trading shares.
At the core, Bakkt is like a custodian service. It looks after large amounts of Bitcoins for institutional investors. Bakkt is owned by ICE which offers a Bakkt-branded Bitcoin futures product. It allows traders to bet on the rise or fall of Bitcoin prices. The Bitcoins being used for these trades are all stored in Bakkt’s custody. In March 2021, Bakkt obtained a BitLicense allowing it to operate in New York, offering its custody services to a wider audience. The company has also rolled out the Bakkt app for more convenience for its users.
Coinbase raised $300 million in Series E funding in 2018 with investments from Andreessen Horowitz, Tiger Global Management, Polychain Capital, and Govt. of Singapore Investment Corporation. Before the funding round, the company was valued at $1.71 billion which increased to $8.04 billion post the fundraising round.
Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the US. It currently supports more than 100 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. The company has more than $256 billion in assets and exceeds 98 million users.
Bitso is a Mexican cryptocurrency trading platform that raised nearly $250 million in funding in 2021. Bitso received investments from many investors including Pantera Capital, QED, Valor Capital Group, Paradigm, Tiger Global, and Coatue. Launched in 2014, it is one of the biggest cryptocurrency platforms in Latin America. It is also the first FinTech in Mexico to reach a valuation of $1 billion.
Bitso has more than 2 million users across Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. There is also the Bitso App for users to buy or sell Bitcoins and many other cryptocurrencies. The company claims that in Mexico it has 95% of the crypto market share and nearly 60% in Argentina.
In Series C funding, Ripple Labs raised $200 million in funding in October 2020. Noteworthy investors included Tetragon Financial Group, 10X Capital, Transform Capital, and SBI Holdings.
Ripple controls a massive amount of XRP, the third most valuable cryptocurrency in the world. Ripple’s products, mainly XRP, are used for various activities, such as remittance, asset exchange, and payment settlement internationally. Unlike Bitcoin, XRP is pre-mined and the mining process is a lot less complicated than Bitcoin mining. When XRP was launched one billion tokens were already pre-mined. In contrast, Bitcoin is capped at 21 million, which means that at any given time there can only be 21 million Bitcoins in the market.
Cryptocurrency start-ups are becoming increasingly popular. Their popularity is evidenced by the fact that they are receiving millions of dollars of funding each year. Cryptocurrency is a high-risk but also high-reward investment. Careful investments could prove very profitable for investors.