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Lightning Network payments railroad, DeFi trading platform and blockchain security company raise millions

Even with the onset of crypto winter, 2022 was a landmark year for venture capital funding. Crypto and blockchain companies collectively raised $30.3 billion in venture capital in the first half of 2022, surpassing all of last year’s totals. While the number of deals has decreased in recent months, startups at the intersection of blockchain payments, decentralized finance (DeFi) and cybersecurity are still attracting significant interest from the VC community. The latest edition of the VC Roundup highlights some of the most interesting funding deals of the past month.

Related: The Risks and Benefits of VCs for Crypto Communities

ZEBEDEE Closes $35M Series B

ZEBEDEE, a Bitcoin (BTC)-powered payment processor for the gaming industry, has raised $35 million from multiple investors including Kingsway Capital, The Raine Group, and Square Enix. ZEBEDEE is essentially a platform that allows game developers to integrate programmable money, including BTC, into their games. The payment platform is powered by the Lightning Network, making ZEBEDEE a “Bitcoin enabler of choice” for its partners, according to Kingsway Capital managing partner Afonso Campos.

Blockchain Security Company Raises $90M Series A

Blockchain security firm Halborn closed a $90 million funding round in July, led by Summit Partners with additional participation from Castle Island Ventures, Digital Currency Group and Brevan Howard, among others. Halborn was founded in 2019 by ethical hackers offering blockchain security services. The company recently warned MetaMask users to be weary of a phishing campaign targeting their browser wallets.

DeFi platform Hashflow raises $25 million in Series A funding

Hashflow, a San Francisco-based decentralized financial trading platform, has closed a $25 million funding round backed by some of the most prominent crypto venture capital. The investment round, which included Jump Crypto, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital Partners and GSR, will help Hashflow expand its product offerings for market indicators and institutional traders.

Socios acquires a 24.5% stake in Barca Studios

Fan loyalty token platform Socios announced in early August that it will invest $100 million in Barca Studios, the digital content arm of soccer team FC Barcelona. Socios, owned by blockchain technology provider Chiliz, will help FC Barcelona accelerate its Web3 and nonfungible token (NFT) loyalty strategy. Specifically, Barca Studios is pursuing NFT and metaverse projects that will help the football club connect with its massive global fan base and will rely on Socios blockchain to implement the strategy.

Related: Crypto Biz: The Gucci “monkey” in crypto

EtherMail secures seed funding for wallet-to-wallet communications

Web3 email solution EtherMail has raised $3 million ahead of the planned launch of its encrypted wallet-to-wallet communication service. Scheduled to launch in the third quarter, EtherMail allows Web3 companies to send “rich, relevant content directly to their asset owners,” thereby reducing the risk of communication fraud. The service also streamlines the distribution of community newsletters by allowing for self-contained, self-contained mailing lists. The seed round was led by Fabric Ventures and Greenfield One.

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