Top investment deals across the crypto sector over the last week (Aug. 13 – 19, 2022):
Skynet Labs is shutting down
Skynet Labs, behind decentralized internet platform Skynet, is shutting down after the company couldn’t raise more funds, according to its blog post on Aug. 12. Skynet Labs was formed as the company sought to focus on Skynet, a decentralized storage and app hosting platform, to build out a decentralized internet and Web3. Skynet Labs has already cut headcount by half and will decrease the number of employees even more over the next month. Skynet platform and its data will remain online, the company said.
BitGo’s broken deal
On August 15, investment management firm Galaxy Digital terminated the $1.2 billion acquisition of digital asset trust company BitGo as it failed to provide audited financial statements for the 2021 year. In response, BitGo called Galaxy Digital’s actions “improper” and said it plans to hold the firm “legally accountable” and seek over $100 million in damages. Later BitGo said it drew an all-cash offer that exceeded the value of the terminated deal with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy, Bloomberg revealed.
Dragonfly buys the oldest crypto hedge fund MetaStable
Crypto venture capital firm Dragonfly has acquired MetaStable Capital, one of the oldest crypto investment funds, Dragonfly said in a blog post on August 15. Founded in 2014, MetaStable had over $400 million in assets under management as of July 31, according to Bloomberg. MetaStable was an early investor in Ethereum, blockchain network Cosmos, blockchain scalability company StarkWare, and many more. Since 2018, Dragonfly has invested in smart contracts platform Avalanche, layer-1 blockchain platform Near Protocol, DAI token creator MakerDAO, zkSync creator Matter Labs, and others.
Alphabet has invested $1.5 billion into blockchain startups since 2021
Crypto intelligence platform Blockdata’s study found that Alphabet, the Google parent company, invested in funding rounds that totaled $1.5 billion across four blockchain companies, including Fireblocks, Dapper Labs, Voltage, and Digital Currency Group, in the last 10 months. With nearly $125 billion of cash reserves, Alphabet is one of the most prolific investors in the startup ecosystem through its investing vehicles. Other top companies like BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, Citi, and Wells Fargo are also featured in the study. Overall, the top 40 companies invested about $6 billion in blockchain-related investments in that period.
Fractional rebrands to Tessera and raises $20 million from Paradigm
On August 17, collective NFT ownership platform Fractional announced that it is rebranding to Tessera and has closed a $20 million Series A fundraising round led by Paradigm. According to a press release, the round closed earlier this summer. Other investors include Uniswap Labs, E Girl Capital, and Focus Labs, as well as more than 50 angel investors including DC Investor and Keyboard Monkey.
Pension fund CDPQ from Canada writes off investment in Celsius
Canadian pension fund giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has written off its investment in struggling crypto lender Celsius, recognizing that the fund entered the burgeoning sector “too soon.” In October 2021, CDPQ and growth equity firm WestCap, invested $400 million into the crypto lending platform, with CDPQ’s share being $150 million.
Dragonfly and Animoca among investors as crypto VC firm Shima Capital raises $200 million
Shima Capital has raised $200 million for its first venture capital fund to support early-stage Web3 startups. The fund debuted on the same day as a $300 million purse from CoinFund, dual signs that investors remain confident during the crypto bear market. Founded by Wall Street veteran Yida Gao, the Web3-focused firm is backed by crypto heavyweights Dragonfly and Animoca. Investors in the new fund also included fund billionaire Bill Ackman, crypto wallet OKX, Mirana Ventures, Republic Capital, CoinDesk parent Digital Currency Group and entrepreneur and former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang, among others.
CoinFund launches $300 million Web3 venture fund
Blockchain venture firm CoinFund has launched a new investment fund devoted to Web3 and other crypto-focused startups, opening the door to fresh funding opportunities for entrepreneurs during the bear market. The new CoinFund Ventures I will invest $300 million into early-stage companies at the intersection of Web3, crypto, and other blockchain sub-sectors, the company announced on August 17. The fund was financed by a combination of institutional investors, family offices, and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs. The New York-based VC firm said several seed-stage crypto investments are already preparing Series A funding rounds.