Episode 51|Force Web3 Weekly Investment and Financing Events November3–10, 2022

This week, the crypto industry has been all abuzz with the FTX vs Binance dispute. Starting with a single media article, no one expected such a shocking turn of events to follow. What’s even scarier is that, in addition to the reversal, there is the impression of vulnerability that the crypto industry has given.

Billions of dollars evaporated in a matter of days, and the total market cap of the crypto industry fell below $850 billion.

Bitcoin and Ethereum also fell below their recent crossover prices.

Most lamentably, with Binance issuing a letter deciding not to acquire FTX, it also means that the centralized exchange, which held a not insignificant share of the crypto market, is near bankrupt.

It is only barely possible to survive if a consortium takes over subsequently, but with a funding gap of up to $8 billion.The hole in FTX itself is so big that all parties are now desperately trying to skim off the top rather than rushing up to take over the mess.

In the aftermath, the involvement of U.S. government agencies will make the entire crowd tremble and perhaps fall into the strange circle of blind self-certification.

Regulation on the one hand will promote the healthy development of the industry, but on the other hand, it will erase creativity and innovation.

In this week’s funding event, TRM Labs, the blockchain anti-crime intelligence company we covered in our weekly report last December, raised $70 million in Series B+ funding, and getting this amount in the current market context is a side testament to the uniqueness and advantages of the project itself.

In December last year, it also got $60 million in a Series B round led by Tiger Global.

The financing was led by Thoma Bravo, with participation from Goldman Sachs, PayPal Ventures, Amex Ventures, and Citi Ventures.

As it happens, in this dispute, the intervening regulators could even use TRM Labs’ products directly if they wanted to.

Based on the blockchain intelligence it provides, it can help government agencies, financial institutions, and cryptocurrency businesses detect, investigate, and mitigate crypto-related fraud and financial crime.

Its risk management platform includes cryptocurrency anti-money laundering (AML), transaction monitoring and wallet screening, investigation tracking, and entity risk scoring solutions, including Know-Your-VASP.

These tools enable organizations to securely accept transactions, products, and partnerships related to cryptocurrencies.

TRM’s blockchain intelligence solutions are currently used by law enforcement agencies, regulators, tax authorities, and financial intelligence units worldwide to support the investigation and analysis of crypto-related fraud and financial crime.

In the context of the current industry’s immaturity, TRM is poised to make a big difference.

In addition to the CZ vs. SBF battle, the GALA debacle, a $250 million Houbi crisis of confidence induced by $400,000, also played out this week.

Not long after the stablecoin Luna thunderstorm, the crypto industry is experiencing such negative events one after another.

The blow to user confidence is likely to be the most far-reaching, which will also bring difficulty and challenge to the handling of crisis PR in the crypto industry in the future and can even be described as planting a landmine.

1. Project Name: Xternity

Project Category: Web3 gaming infrastructure startup

Project Description: Xternity provides a “no-code” platform to help Web2 game publishers adopt Web3 technologies.

Financing Round: Pre-seed Funding

Amount of Financing: $4.5 Million

Investors: led by NFX.

2. Project Name: Theia Studios

Project Category: Game Studio

Project Description: Theia Studios creates a Web3 creator platform for turn-based strategy games.ts toolkit includes a map editor, asset pipeline, scripting framework, economy builder, and more, which collectively empower creators to create and monetize their own strategy games.

Financing Round: Unknown

Amount of Financing: $2.4 Million

Investors: Backers included Hashed, Snackclub, IVC, Mint Ventures, Taureon, Arcanum Capital, Big Brain Holdings, Lancer Capital, Ignite Group, Andover Ventures, and Plum Ventures.

3. Project Name: Ping

Project Category: Payment Platform

Project Description: Founded by Pablo Orlando, Mary Saracco and Jack Saracco, Ping provides a platform that enables any individual, organization or company to create a free international account in US dollars and receive bank transfers — either in their foreign currency or cryptocurrency — instantly. Embedded in the platform is its invoicing system where users can send invoices directly to their employers. Additionally, through it, users can buy and receive cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Financing Round: Seed Round

Amount of Financing: $15Million

Investors: led by Y-Combinator, Race Capital, BlockTower, Danhua Capital, Signum Capital and Goat Capital.

4. Project Name: Kalder

Project Category: Web3-native brand engagement platform

Project description: Kalder provides a platform that allows companies and creators to power collaborations, launch advocacy campaigns to turn customers into influencers, create exclusive tiers, track in-person and online engagement data, and reward customers on-chain.

Financing round: Pre-Seed Funding

Amount of financing: $3million

Investors: Backers included Indigo Fund, 8VC, 500 VC, Human Capital, and Soma Capital, Meltem Demirors and Accel.

5. Project Name: TRM Labs

Project Category: Blockchain intelligence company

Project Description: A self-custodial wallet based on Ethereum scaling solution Starknet.

Financing Round: B Aound

Amount of Financing: $70 Million

Investors: Led by Thoma Bravo, with participation from Goldman Sachs, PayPal Ventures, Amex Ventures, and Citi Ventures. The expansion follows TRM’s $60 million Series B raise in December 2021, led by Tiger Global.

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