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Web3 & Tech VC Roundup: Google Propels AI Startup Runway to $1.5B Valuation

Last Updated: January 11, 2024
Boardroom’s latest Web3 & Tech VC Roundup includes deals from Illuvium, Magic, Anthropic, Worldcoin, and more.

We’re back with Boardroom’s bi-weekly (or semi-regular) Web3 and Tech VC Roundup.

Google made another big bet on artificial intelligence with an investment in generative AI startup Runway, driving the company’s valuation up to around $1.5 billion. Runway’s AI tech allows users to generate videos from text descriptions. The big tech giant participated in Runway’s $100 million funding round, and the generative AI startup inked a deal to make Google its preferred cloud provider. This comes after Runway initially entered into a partnership with Amazon Web Services as its preferred cloud provider in March — things appear to have changed swiftly on this front.

Google is not shy about its investments in this burgeoning space. The tech leader invested $300 million in generative AI startup Anthropic in February and also inked a deal to be the company’s cloud provider.

Let’s dive deeper into the other recent, notable Web3 and tech venture capital deals shaking up the landscape.

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Illuvium: $10M to Expand Blockchain Gaming Universe

Blockchain game developer Illuvium secured a $10 million investment from Framework Ventures. The Web3 startup will use the capital to accelerate the development of its core gaming products and support its contributors. Illuvium Co-founder Kieran Warwick shared the news on Discord as the company prepares for its open beta test of three interconnected games. Illuvium: Zero is a city builder game, Illuvium: Overworld is an expansive open-world monster-hunting adventure, and Illuvium: Arena is an auto battler strategy game.

Illuvium is on a mission to build out an entire blockchain gaming universe on the Immutable X blockchain network. This latest investment from Framework Ventures comes after the VC firm led Illuvium’s $5 million Series A funding round in March 2021.

Magic: $52M for Web3 Wallet

Crypto wallet-as-a-service provider Magic closed a $52 million strategic investment round led by PayPal Ventures with participation from Cherubic, Synchrony, KX, Northzone, and Volt Capital. The San Francisco-based company has raised over $80 million in venture capital since launching in 2018.

Notable brands such as Mattel, Macy’s, and Immutable use Magic’s wallet-as-a-service solution, which is equipped with Web3 onboarding features and a management system. Magic’s product has been used to create 20 million unique crypto wallets in the last five years. The company will use its investment from PayPal Ventures to expand the functionality of its flagship product.

“Mass adoption of Web3 is a hot topic, and Magic is facilitating this with a safe and simple solution,” Alan Du, a partner at PayPal Ventures, said in a statement. “Magic’s wallet creation service allows companies to reach millions of users on their apps and onboard customers who are new to Web3. We’re proud to be investing in Magic and believe the company will help drive the growing number of Web3 use-cases amongst global brands.”

More Notable Investments

  • Generative AI startup Anthropic closed a $450 million Series C funding round led by Spark Capital. Google, Salesforce, Zoom, Sound Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and other undisclosed parties.
  • Karate Kombat raised $18 million to power its mixed martial arts DAO.
  • Smart basketball startup Huupe closed an $11 million round co-led by Protagonist VC, Marvan Ventures TRI Investments, and Kawn VC.
  • Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s 35V (which owns and operates the website you’re on right now) joined TMRW Sports‘ investor pool along with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. Read more about the deal here.
  • Infogrid closed a $90 million Series B to build AI monitoring tech.
  • Digital fashion brand and platform DressX raised $15 million from Greenfield Capital, Slow Ventures, Warner Music, The Artemis Fund, Red DAO, and others.
  • Stripe hit a $50 billion valuation earlier this year after raising $6.5 billion in Series I funding.
  • Blockchain messaging protocol LayerZero raised $120 million at a $3 billion valuation.
  • ChatGPT creator OpenAI closed a $300 million share sale at a valuation valued between $27 billion to $29 billion.
  • Sam Altman’s Worldcoin closed a $115 million Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital with participation from a16z, Bain Capital Crypto, and Distributed Global.
  • Crypto derivatives exchange Bitget received a $10 million strategic investment from crypto VC firm Dragonfly Capital.
  • Gaming studio Believer raised $55 million from a16z, Riot Games, Bitkraft Ventures, 1Up Ventures, and others, with plans to launch in three to five years.
  • Delphi Labs raised $13.5 million in its first outside investment round to launch a Web3 accelerator program.
  • Animoca Brands led a $10 million funding round for Hong Kong-based NFT platform Ucollex.

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