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Metaverse VC Roundup: Kevin Garnett, The Fabricant, & Axie Infinity

These five metaverse-focused companies raised over $450 million in VC this past week, including KG’s Gaming Society and Axie Infinity parent company Sky Mavis

Venture capital continues to roll in for metaverse, crypto, and Web3-focused companies.

Since we’re seeing an uptick in VC in the growing industries, Boardroom is publishing biweekly roundups of some of the biggest deals. Check out the first one here.

Here are all the recent funding deals you should know about.

Gaming Society: $3.5M to Expand Women’s Sports Betting

Gaming Society, a gamification and content company focused on sports betting, closed a $3.5 million seed funding round. The company is working to make sports betting more inclusive, accessible, and easy to understand.

Gaming Society was founded in 2021 by NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett and Jaymee Messler, a sports executive, entrepreneur, and co-founder of The Players’ Tribune. The financing round was co-led by Acies Investments and TLI Bedrock.

Gaming Society plans to use the seed funding to expand its gamification products and media content. The company wants to democratize sports betting and educate fans through podcasts, newsletters, and games.

Last August, Gaming Society partnered with the WNBA Players Association to launch the “Bet On Women” campaign. The initiative focuses on bringing women’s sports to the forefront of sports betting and enhancing engagement. Gaming Society expanded on this work in November through a partnership with GameOn Entertainment Technologies. According to an official release, the partnership involves predictor games that let fans make free-to-play bets on women’s sports across various leagues.

The Fabricant: $14M to Build a Digital Fashion Brand Dynasty

Amsterdam-based The Fabricant, the developer of a metaverse fashion NFT platform, closed a $14 million funding round led by Greenfield One. The company will use the funding to expand its flagship platform called The Fabricant Studio. Within the platform, users can co-create digital fashion NFTs with designers and build their wardrobes in the metaverse. After the fashion NFTs are minted, users can trade or wear them.

“Within virtual environments, we are likely going to have multiple digital reflections of our physical self. The Fabricant Studio allows any creator to become their own fashion designer in the metaverse — paired with Web3 technology, digital fashion becomes unique, tradeable, and accessible for the masses,” Jascha Samadi, a partner at Greenfield One, said in an official release. “The team behind The Fabricant identified this paradigm of user-generated fashion very early on, long before NFTs caught mainstream attention.”

The round included participation from Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, Red DAO, and more venture capital firms. The Fabricant is on a mission to build a decentralized fashion house with innovation and sustainability at the core. The company is working on expanding its fashion empire through partnerships with Epic Games, The Sandbox, and World of Women.

CertiK: $88M at a $2B valuation

Web3 and blockchain security firm CertiK announced its fourth round of raises in the past nine months, this one an $88 million Series B, doubling the company’s valuation in three months to $2 billion. CertiK developed a security-focused ranking platform that analyzes and monitors blockchain protocols and DeFi projects.

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Ronghui Gu, CertiK’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that the company would use the $88 million to build new products and develop a one-stop security platform for the entire Web3 world. The Series B was led by Insight Partners, Tiger Global, and Advent International with participation from Goldman Sachs and existing investors, including Sequoia and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Since its inception in 2018,  CertiK has protected over $300 billion worth of crypto assets for 2,500 enterprise clients through its services. CertiK has raised $230 million in venture capital to date.

Binance.US: Over $200M for First External Funding Round

Crypto exchange leader Binance.US raised over $200 million in its first external funding round at a $4.5 billion valuation. The inaugural round included investments from RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck, Circle Ventures, and more. Binance.US closed this big round as it plans to go public in the next two to three years.

The Binance.US exchange offers more than 85 cryptocurrencies and its platform is active in 45 states. Aside from announcing its first external capital raise, this is also the first time the three-year-old company has shared its valuation numbers. Per a press release, Binance.US will use the new capital to fund its marketing and education plans, develop new products, and enhance its spot trading platform.

Axie Infinity: $150M to Offset Hacker Attack

Axie Inifinity’s parent company, Sky Mavis, raised $150 million to help reimburse victims who lost assets in the hacker attack last week. Hackers targeted Sky Mavis’s blockchain network that supports the Axie Infinity game and stole approximately $620 million worth of Ethereum and U.S. dollars.

The financing was led by crypto exchange Binance and includes participation from Animoca Brands, Andreessen Horowitz, Dialectic, Paradigm and Accel. The raise came as a short-term response to the widespread hack while Sky Mavis works with law enforcement to hopefully recover all of the stolen funds. For now, Sky Mavis will pull from its balance sheet funds and the new funding to reimburse all users affected.

While Sky Mavis runs security maintenance on the Ronin Network Bridge, Binance is supporting the network by providing Ethereum withdrawals and deposits for Axie Infinity users.

“Sky Mavis is committed to reimbursing all of our users’ funds and implementing rigorous internal security measures to prevent future attacks. With Binance supporting us, we will be able to expand the validator set from five to 21 on an expedited timeline, which ensures the security of the Ronin network,” Sky Maqvis CEO Trung Nguyen said in an official release. “We are also thrilled to collaborate with Binance NFT on future projects.”

Sky Mavis won’t let this hack stop its progress since the company is began the soft launch of its Axie Infinity: Origin game on Thursday, April 7.

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