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Web3 & Tech VC Roundup: Is WeWork Going Bankrupt?

Boardroom’s latest roundup of Web3 and tech venture capital deals includes InWorld AI, Futureverse’s Born Ready, Windup Minds a16z, and more.

WeWork, the flexible coworking space provider once valued at $47 billion, might inevitably be headed for bankruptcy after posting an unimpressive earnings report.

The company hit a $47 billion valuation at its prime in January 2019 following its $1 billion Series H raise led by SoftBank. WeWork’s struggles kicked off soon after, however, when investors backed out of its failed IPO in the fall of 2019. By November of that year, the flex workspace provider cut 20% of its staff and ousted co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann. WeWork eventually went public in October 2021 at a $9 billion valuation, far less than previously expected. Unfortunately, WeWork hasn’t turned a profit since hitting the New York Stock Exchange, and it continues to lose money in its struggle to remain operational.

Now, the company finds itself in the midst of a whole new debacle.

WeWork’s stock was trading at 27 cents per share by mid-day on Aug. 10, and its overall valuation is down to an estimated $260 million. Only $877 million in revenue came in during the most recent quarter, good for a net loss of $397 million. It’s a precipitous fall for a brand that raised $22 billion in venture capital from notable investors, including SoftBank, BlackRock, Insight Partners, Goldman Sachs, before going public. Ultimately, rapid expansion and an unsustainable business model are tearing this once-promising VC-backed coworking empire down.

No, this wasn’t news about a fresh funding raise, but important to note against the backdrop of an ever-evolving VC landscape regarding how VC dollars flow after an initial investment. With that in mind, here’s a recap of Web3 and Tech VC deals closed in recent weeks.

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Inworld AI: $50M for AI Game Characters

Inworld AI closed a $50 million funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Stanford University, Samsung Next, Microsoft’s M12 fund, First Spark Ventures, and LG Technology Ventures.

The company developed an artificial intelligence-based character engine focused on building non-player characters for games. Inworld AI will use its fresh funding to amp up research and development, expand its team, invest in infrastructure, and launch an open-source version of its flagship product.

This new funding round comes after Inworld AI raised $50 million nearly a year ago. Following this latest raise, Inworld AI is valued at $500 million.

Born Ready: $50M Fund and Studio

Futureverse co-founders Shara Senderoff and Aaron McDonald launched a new $50 million venture fund and studio called Born Ready. The new venture will host accelerator programs with funding opportunities for tech companies that collaborate with Futureverse or The Root Network, a decentralized blockchain network built for metaverse-based apps and experiences.

Senderoff and McDonald are seasoned investors in the Web3 and blockchain space who are both eager to work alongside developers and tech leaders building with the future of the internet in mind. Born Ready has already invested in several companies, including Omar Bailey’s FCTRY Lab, Power’d Digital, Polemos, and Walker Labs.

For Born Ready’s first accelerator, Futureverse is partnering with Outlier Ventures to launch the Futureverse Base Camp, a 12-week program that will support startups aligned with The Root Network through mentorship, education, and $100,000 in funding. The inaugural accelerator will kick off in January 2024 featuring companies focused on building metaverse-focused apps, games, and experiences.

More Notable Investments

  • Windup Minds raised $1.6 million for a game studio focused on building VR and mixed reality-based virtual pet games.
  • CUBE3.AI raised $8.2 million in seed funding to launch a real-time Web3 transaction security platform.
  • Advertising experience platform Monetizr closed a $4 million funding round led by Change Ventures with participation from Techstars and Ludus Ventures.
  • a16z committed to invest $75 million in pre-seed gaming and tech startups as part of its Speedrun accelerator program.
  • Germany-based Deepset raised $30 million to build a commercial product called Deepset Cloud that helps enterprises leverage AI models.
  • Switchboard, a data product developer for business users, closed a $7 million Series A funding round led by GFT Ventures and Quest Venture Partners.
  • Web3 and blockchain solutions developer Cosmic Wire closed a $30 million seed round led by Solana Foundation and Polygon.
  • Orbital, a provider of traditional finance and crypto solutions for global enterprises, closed a $6.4 million round in its first institutional capital raise.
  • LunarCrush, a provider of social media analytics for crypto and financial industries, closed a $5 million Series A at a $30 million valuation.
  • Austin’s Tuesday Capital closed $31 million in seed-stage funding.

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About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.