Crypto VC funding surged 53% in March, Optimism wins largest share

    2024.04.02 | exchangesranking | 36onlookers

    Venture capital funding into crypto jumped by 52.5% month-on-month in March, with crypto projects getting $1.16 billion, mostly in infrastructure and decentralized finance projects. 

    RootData figures show 180 publicly-announced investments managed to sec investment in the last month — the highest monthly figure since April 2022.

    One-fifth of deals saw fundraises of between $1 million to $3 million, while just over 15% raised between $5 million to $10 million. The majority of the funded projects were based in the United States, but they still only made up less than 10% of the total deal count.

    Ethereum layer-2 blockchain Optimism got the month’s largest raise when it sold $89 million worth of its tokens in a private deal. Cryptography startup Zama was runner-up with its $73 million Series A.

    March’s top 10 largest deals by amount raised. Source: RootData

    The monthly deal number was up 25% from February and over 70% from the prior year period, while the total amount raised was also up 28% compared to March 2023.

    VC firms recently hinted at their crypto-focused interests for the year ahead. Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) on April 1 earmarked $30 million for a fund focused on Web3 gaming.

    Crypto-related VC funding by month since March 2022 with USD amount raised (orange) and number of deals (gray line). Source: RootData

    Last week, a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen and Galaxy Digital were top contributors to VC firm 1kx’s $75 million fund targeting crypto-based consumer apps and Hack VC in February raised $150 million to fund early-stage crypto and artificial intelligence startups.

    Infrastructure projects were the most well-funded firms in March, making up for nearly $283 million — around a quarter of the total $1.16 billion VC funding.

    Decentralized finance (DeFi) projects followed with $228.1 million in funding, making up nearly 20% of the total, with centralized finance (CeFi) projects — such as exchanges — seeing the third-most funding at $85.5 million.

    No funding was raised in the DAO category.

    Fundraising amount per sector for March 2024. Source: RootData

    Last month’s funding is the first time since November that VC funding has broken over $1 billion for the month.

    Related: Web3 startups flock to accelerators as crypto enthusiasm surges

    It comes after a dampened 2023 for crypto raises after FTX collapsed in late 2022 and took the crypto markets with it.

    VC funding has made monthly gains year-to-date as enthusiasm for crypto has made a comeback in tandem with the markets, which PitchBook attributed to the launch of spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the U.S.

    Magazine: The secret of pitching to male VCs: Helping female crypto founders blast off

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