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Metaverse VC Roundup: Rocketplace Raises $9M in Seed Funding

Boardroom’s latest metaverse VC roundup also includes fundraising updates from Tessera, Invisible Universe, and more.

It looks like venture capital deals in the Web3 space are ramping up again, especially for crypto-focused projects.

Even through the crypto winter, founders bullish on their ideas and products have pushed forward. This list of recent funding deals includes investments across industries, including gaming, animation, crypto asset management, and more.

Let’s jump into the latest edition of Boardroom’s biweekly Metaverse VC Roundup.

Rocketplace: $9M For Crypto Asset Management Tools

Rocketplace, the builder of a crypto asset management platform, raised $9 million in seed funding. Launchpad Capital led the round, which included participation from TTV, Accomplice, Menlo Ventures, and Soma Capital.

As more crypto exchange companies arise, Rocketplace is trying to separate from the competition. The company says it’s building the “Fidelity for crypto” with its asset management platform. Rocketplace also offers commission-free trading of more than 30 tokens.

Rocketplace CEO Louis Beryl and the company’s COO, Ben Hutchinson, previously worked together when they built online lender Earnest. Navient acquired that company in 2017 for $155 million. The pair launched Rocketplace in 2019 and have raised $17 million to date, including $8 million in pre-seed funding.

With 10 employees, Rocketplace plans to use a portion of the funding to double its team. The rest of the seed round will go toward launching its fund distribution business.

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Tessera: $20M for Collective NFT Ownership

As Fractional rebrands to Tessera, the company raised $20 million to keep pushing its mission. Tessera plans to use the fresh funding to roll out a new version of its protocol and shift to a collective NFT ownership method for its customers.

Much like the name that precedes it, Tessera‘s platform allows holders to buy, sell, and mint fractions of NFTs. The NFT fractionalization platform’s Series A round was led by Paradigm, with participation from over 50 individual angel investors, Uniswap Labs Ventures, eGirl Capital, and more.

The company decided to rebrand after noticing that its original name wasn’t sticking in the NFT community. It wanted something more unique, identifiable, and maybe not too literal.

Here’s how Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the term tessera:

  1. a small tablet (as of wood, bone, or ivory) used by the ancient Romans as a ticket, tally, voucher, or means of identification
  2. a small piece (as of marble, glass, or tile) used in mosaic work

Aligning with that definition, Tessera’s rebrand expands its focus more broadly to collective ownership of NFTs.

Invisible Universe: $12M to Build Animated IP Across Web3

LA-based animation studio Invisible Universe raised $12 million to launch new animated IP across Web3 and social media channels.

Alexis Ohanian‘s Seven Seven Six venture capital firm led the Series A round, with participation from Cosmic Venture Partners, Dapper Labs, Initialized Capital, and more. Invisible Universe will also use the Series A to expand to new platforms and monetize its existing franchises, which include some characters you may already be familiar with.

Invisible Universe’s studio is the mastermind behind bringing Qai Qai to life, which is the doll belonging to Ohanian and Serena Williams’ daughter. The animation incubator has developed a suite of characters, including Squeaky & Roy, Clydeo, and Ember.

“Invisible Universe has pioneered what it means to launch indelible character IP on the Internet,” said Invisible Universe CEO Tricia Biggio in a statement. “Our characters have captured the hearts of audiences, made them laugh, and allowed them to feel seen while providing a moment of delight in the timelines of their favorite social platforms. This capital from our incredible investors and partners allows us to seed and grow more IP and to commercialize our franchises at scale. When my two toddlers ask for Qai Qai or Clydeo instead of mainstream favorites, I know we’re building something special.”

New Crypto Funds

  • Crypto and Web3 investment firm CoinFund raised a $300 million fund to target new investments and dish out Series A checks to its portfolio companies.
  • Shima Capital debuted a private crypto fund with $200 million. The fund will focus on making investments in crypto-focused pre-seed and seed startups.
  • Web3 venture studio SuperLayer announced a $25 million fund led by Polygon, which is also a strategic partner in the company.

More Investments

  • Singapore-based .bit raised a $13 million Series A to build a cross-chain decentralized identity protocol.
  • MatchboxDAO, an on-chain game developer community, raised $7.5 million to improve crypto games built on an Ethereum-based network called StarkNet, and develop tools for gaming development.
  • Jito Labs closed a $10 million Series A led by Multicoin Capital and Framework Ventures.
  • Datawisp closed a $3.6 million seed round led by CoinFund to expand its data exploration platform for Web3 and gaming.
  • NFT-focused media distribution platform Pinata raised $21.5 million to grow its team and built out its tech infrastructure. The raise includes a Series A co-led by Greylock and Pantera, and a seed round co-led by Greylock and Offline Ventures.
  • Halliday, a gaming NFT buy-now-pay-later startup, closed a $6 million seed round led by a16z crypto ahead of its beta launch with a partnership with League of Kingdoms in a few weeks.
  • Blockchain startup Injective Labs raised $40 million from Jump Crypto and BH Digital to continue building out its Layer-1 blockchain and attract decentralized finance developers.
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