Venture Capital Roundup: AI-Blockchain Solutions Garnering Investor Interest

Utila, Synnax, Sahara, TON Foundation, UXLINK, and TEN: Startups Securing Funding in March's First Half

The first quarter of 2024 is closing with renewed optimism for cryptocurrencies, driven by the launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in January. This positive trend could lead to increased venture capital investment in the sector. In 2023, venture capital firms in the crypto and blockchain space raised $5.75 billion across 58 funds, a decrease from the record-breaking $37.7 billion raised across 262 funds in 2022, according to a report from Galaxy Digital.

The crypto market started showing signs of recovery in the last quarter of 2023, with venture funding reaching $1.9 billion, marking a 2.5% increase from the previous quarter. This growth is significant as it represents the first positive momentum in venture capital investments in crypto startups since early 2022.

One of the key factors attracting investors is the development of solutions that integrate artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. Additionally, products targeting institutional investors entering the crypto space are gaining traction.

KoinHow’s VC Roundup highlights startups that have secured funding in the first weeks of March, showcasing the ongoing interest and investment in the crypto and blockchain sectors.

Utila Secures $11.5M Seed Funding for Institutional Wallet

Utila, an enterprise-focused wallet provider, has secured $11.5 million in seed funding from investors including NFX, Wing VC, and Framework Ventures, as well as angel investors Balaji Srinivasan, Charlie Songhurst, and Surojit Chatterjee. The startup offers a self-custody wallet platform for institutional investors across various chains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. Utila has facilitated over $3 billion in transactions on its platform in the past six months, serving clients such as hedge funds, OTC desks, market makers, brokers, and token issuers. Other investors in Utila include Fansanara Digital Ventures, North Island Ventures, Republic Capital, Liquid2, Inspired Capital, Lyrik Ventures, DCG Expeditions, Launchpad Capital, and Shima Capital.

Synnax Raises $1M in Pre-Seed Funding for Digital Assets Credit Intelligence

Synnax, a startup focusing on digital assets credit intelligence, has raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by No Limit Holdings. The funding will be used to develop Synnax’s platform, which aims to establish an unbiased credit rating standard for the digital asset industry. Founded in Dubai, Synnax utilizes decentralized artificial intelligence models to address issues like transparency and bias in current credit rating systems. The round also saw participation from global investors such as Edessa Capital, Kenetic Capital, Bitscale, Ryze Capital, MH Ventures, Hex Trust, Moonvault, GameFi Ventures, Typhon Ventures, Ausvic Capital, Drops Ventures, and Everstake Ventures.

Sahara Raises $6M Seed Round for Decentralized AI Network

Sahara, a startup focused on developing a decentralized AI network, has raised a $6 million seed funding round led by Polychain Capital. Other investors include Samsung Next, Matrix Partners, Motherson Group, dao5, Geekcartel, and Canonical Crypto, with Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal participating as an angel investor. The startup aims to create autonomous Knowledge Agents (KAs) that can analyze external and internal proprietary data autonomously. Sahara also provides data services for AI model training with a focus on privacy and security. The funding will support the growth of additional Sahara ecosystem components such as Sahara Vault, Sahara ID, and Sahara Network, led by Sean Ren, a Professor at the University of Southern California, and Tyler Zhou, previous Investment Director at Binance Labs.

TON Foundation Receives $8M Funding from Mirana Ventures

Mirana Ventures has invested $8 million in Toncoin, the native token of The Open Network (TON), a blockchain project founded by Telegram’s team in 2019. This investment is part of a partnership between the TON Foundation, Bybit, and the Mantle Network. Bybit has integrated Toncoin into its offerings, including rewards for staking and cashback, resulting in over $22 million in trading volume, according to the TON Foundation. Meanwhile, TON Space, Telegram’s self-custodial wallet, is integrating TON-based MNT tokens to connect its users with the Mantle Network. The funds will support the development of the community and projects. Telegram boasts over 900 million monthly active users.

UXLINK Closes $10M Funding Round for Web3 Social Media

Web3 social platform UXLINK has secured nearly $10 million in funding from investors including OKX Ventures, Web3Port Foundation, and others across North America, Asia, and the Middle East. Unlike traditional social media platforms, UXLINK emphasizes two-way, friendship-like connections rather than one-way interactions. It offers features like a social decentralized exchange for digital assets trading and a reward module for user participation and contribution. Since its launch in April 2023, UXLINK has attracted over 3.5 million verified users and 75,000 decentralized groups.

TEN Raises $9M from Banking Consortium R3

Ethereum layer 2 network TEN has raised $9 million in a funding round led by banking consortium R3, with additional backing from Republic Crypto, KuCoin Labs, Big Brain Capital, DWF Labs, and Magnus Capital. Developed by Obscuro Labs, TEN combines optimistic rollups and zero knowledge rollups to offer an encrypted layer 2 for developers. The platform is working on customizable privacy levels in smart contracts, allowing developers to choose which parts of a smart contract to make private and which parts to make public. TEN is currently on testnet and is set to be released on the mainnet in October, offering features like programmable encryption, immediate bridges, and random number generation.

Gracie Perez

Gracie Perez has been an editor in the KoinHow team since we started. she holds a degree in Computer Sciences. From 2017, She has pivoted his career towards blockchain technology, with principal interest in writing Cryptocurrency news and different guides. She is also working with different online media outlets.

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