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.
Binance Announces Investment in Five Projects
The venture arm of the Bitcoin exchange Binance has invested in five “high-performing projects” as part of the fifth season of its incubation program.
Selected startups include:
- Bracket Labs. A project that creates structured on-chain products using borrowed funds. The main direction of the company is the BracketX.fi trading platform;
- DappOS. A protocol for reducing entry barriers to Web3 through solutions that improve application usability and accessibility;
- Cryptoskatt. A company to simplify the use of Web3-finance through a comprehensive set of solutions, including accounting, portfolio management and tax reporting. The project supports over 2000 DeFi protocols, 100 exchanges and 50 blockchains;
- mind network. A fully encrypted network built on the Adaptive Fully Homomorphic Encryption platform. It is used as a decentralized confidential data store;
- zkPass. A decentralized Web3 anonymous identity verification solution based on multi-party computing technologies and zero-knowledge proofs.
This season of the investment program, more than 900 companies applied and only 2% of them were allowed to participate.
AI startup Mistral AI raises record-breaking €105 million for Europe
Paris-based AI project Mistral AI raised €105 million in a seed round, setting a record for this round of funding in Europe. According to the FT, at the end of the round, the startup was valued at €240 million.
According to journalists, the size of the investment reflects the boom around AI and the desire of European businesses to create a viable alternative to Silicon Valley companies like Microsoft-backed OpenAI or Google’s DeepMind.
“There is a growing awareness that this technology is transformative, and Europe needs to do something about it as a regulator, as well as a client and investor,” said Artur Mensch, CEO of Mistral AI.
The former DeepMind researcher co-founded the firm with Meta alumni Timothée Lacroix and Guillaume Lamplet.
The funding round for the startup was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Investors include ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, billionaire Xavier Niel and French state-owned investment bank Bpifrance.
Mistral AI doesn’t have a finished product yet. The first employees started working in the company in the first half of June. In early 2024, the startup plans to launch a “big language model” similar to the “generative AI” that underpins the ChatGPT app.
Gensyn Decentralized Computing AI Network Project Raises $43M
Blockchain-based computing network provider for AI platforms Gensyn has raised $43M in a Series A funding round led by a16z. Among the participants: CoinFund, Canonical Crypto, Protocol Labs, Eden Block and other investors.
The London-based startup implements a marketplace protocol that allows owners of small data centers and even individual devices to provide computing power for machine learning. The relationship between buyers and sellers will be settled on the blockchain.
Gensyn acknowledged that the AI boom driven by the success of ChatGPT, which led to a surge in demand for computing resources, was the backdrop for the fundraising.
According to a16z, Gensyn’s solution can increase the power available for machine learning by 10-100 times.
Cosmos-based Neutron blockchain raises $10 million
Neutron, a blockchain project in the Cosmos ecosystem, closed a $10 million seed funding round led by Binance Labs and CoinFund. Other investors include Delphi Ventures, LongHash, Semantic Ventures and Nomad.
Neutron offers a “economical and secure environment” for building smart contracts and decentralized applications. The infrastructure and tools of the project are built on the basis of Cosmos SDK and CosmWasm technologies, which provide compatibility with 51 ecosystem appchains.
“Neutron is designed to solve three main problems that smart contract developers face in Cosmos: lack of security, reliable neutrality, and access to cross-chain infrastructure,” said one of the founders of the platform, Avril Duteil.
The project started in May and became the first Cosmos blockchain launched using Replicated Security. This is a feature that allows so-called “consumer chains” to connect to Cosmos Hub validators to run applications securely.
According to the team, the funds raised will be used to support the expansion of the Neutron ecosystem and stimulate the development of new dapps.
Cross-chain protocol Connext raises $7.5 million
Focused on blockchain interoperability, Connext has raised $7.5 million in a strategic funding round at a $250 million valuation.
Investors include Polychain Capital, Coinbase Ventures, NGC Ventures, Ethereal Ventures, Polygon Ventures, IOSG Ventures, Fenbushi Capital, KXVC, a_capital, No Limit Holdings, 1k(x), #Hashed, Factor, Scalar Capital and Dokia Capital.
The team will use the raised funds to create the Connext Foundation to fund ideas aimed at scaling up the project, community initiatives and other long-term growth strategies.
Connext talked about 20,000 users and processing more than 1.2 million transactions. The total amount of project financing is $23.5 million.
Also on ForkLog:
- Amazon has allocated $100 million for the development of generative AI.
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