Just 5 months into 2018, the amount of funding from venture capitalists and institutional investors for blockchain and cryptocurrency projects reached $1.3 billion, already exceeding the total for the entire year of 2017.
According to data compiled by Crunchbase, the $1.3 billion already raised by blockchain companies from VCs is more than “the 18 months between July 1, 2016 to New Year’s Eve 2017.”
Crunchbase’s data for blockchain and blockchain-adjacent companies “purposely excluded initial coin offerings (ICOs), including those that had traditional VCs participate.” The report focused on venture deals, such as “angel, seed, convertible notes, Series A, Series B, and so on.”
We reported last week on Circle’s successful $110 million Series E funding round to raise money to develop a stablecoin linked to the US dollar. Instead of an institutional or venture player, the round was led by Bitmain, one of the largest mining hardware producers and miners in the world. Other participating investors include Tusk Ventures, Pantera Capital, IDG Capital Partners, General Catalyst, Accel Partners, Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, and Breyer Capital.
The funding round places Circle in a unique category of tech companies called “unicorns,” or companies that are valued at over $1 billion. The latest Series E funding round valued Circle at $2.9 billion pre-money, up from a $420 million pre-money valuation in its Series D round, which closed in May 2016. Circle is now one of only three blockchain companies to have achieved this status - it joins Coinbase and Robin Hood.
Other major deals include $118 million raised by Orbs, a $75 million Series B round closed by Paris-based secure hardware wallet-maker Ledger, $32 million for genomic data analysis tool project Shivom, and a $16 million Series A round led by Benchmark for Chainalysis.