The cryptocurrency industry is attracting an increasing number of institutional players. This is evidenced by new investments in infrastructure, and the increasing attention that companies are showing to bitcoin as an asset class. The most important events of recent weeks are in the ForkLog review.
Generative AI startup AI21 becomes a ‘unicorn’ at $1.4 billion valuation
Israeli generative artificial intelligence (AI) project AI21 Labs closed a $155 million Series C funding round, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.
Among the investors: Google, Nvidia, Walden Catalyst, Pitango, SCB10X, b2venture, Samsung Next, as well as the head of Mobileye and part-time startup co-founder Professor Amnon Shashua.
The total amount of funds raised was $283 million, thanks to which AI21 Labs became one of the largest “unicorns” in the field of generative AI.
AI21 Labs was founded in 2017 in Tel Aviv and has been developing large language models ever since. In 2020, the company released the AI coding tool Wordtune.
Nodal Power raises $13M for ‘scrap mining’
U.S. company Nodal Power has closed a $13 million seed funding round for a project to convert methane from landfills into renewable energy, some of which is used to mine cryptocurrencies.
Methane is a greenhouse gas produced from the decomposition of organic matter. It traps heat 25 times more than carbon dioxide, and its excess is considered one of the causes of global warming.
With the help of the new technology, Nodal Power will “treat the escaping gas in the generator” and generate additional electricity, reducing CO2 emissions.
BlockTower supported Maple Finance in a $5 million investment round
DeFi platform Maple Finance closed a $5M strategic funding round led by BlockTower Capital and Tioga Capital, with participation from Cherry Ventures, The Spartan Group, GSR Ventures, Veris Ventures, Maven11 Capital and Framework Ventures.
The project team will use the funds received for expansion in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. The startup also intends to enter into cooperation with other protocols, financial service providers and loan officers.
BlackRock has invested over $400 million in mining companies
Investment giant BlackRock holds shares of four cryptocurrency mining companies totaling $411 million.
According to Finbold, on July 30, the firm bought on a dip:
- Riot Blockchain (RIOT) – 10.7 million shares (6.14%) for $199.08 million;
- Marathon Digital (MARA) – 10.9 million shares (6.44%) for $190 million;
- Cipher Mining (CIFR) – 2.2 million shares (0.88%) for $8.36 million;
- TeraWulf (WULF) – 4.8 million shares (2.28%) for $14.10 million
The venture firm’s total investment corresponds to a 0.35% share of the $117.6 billion it owns.
In addition, BlackRock’s current position makes it one of the largest members of the Bitcoin Mining Council, the lobbying group for the Bitcoin industry in the United States, in terms of investment.
MoonPay launched an investment division with a focus on Web3
Payment service MoonPay announced the launch of a venture division that will focus on early-stage financial and Web3 startups.
MoonPay Ventures has already invested in several companies including BCB Group, Brut, BeatClub, Absolute Labs, Create/OS, BridgeTower Capital, Mythical Games and more.
In addition to financial support, the organization will provide projects with professional advice and work out their business model.
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