Lightning Network payment rail, DeFi exchange and blockchain security firm raises millions

Even as the crypto winter begins, 2022 is still a watershed year for VC funding. Crypto and blockchain companies raised a combined $30.3 billion in venture capital in the first half of 2022, surpassing last year’s total. Although the number of transactions has dropped in recent months, startups at the intersection of blockchain payments, decentralized finance (DeFi) and cybersecurity are still attracting a lot of interest from the VC community. The latest installment of the VC Roundup highlights some of the most interesting financing deals of the past month.

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ZEBEDEE Completes $35M Series B Financing

ZEBEDEE, a Bitcoin (BTC)-powered payment processor for the gaming industry, has raised $35 million from multiple investors including Kingsway Capital, The Raine Group, and Square Enix. ZEBEDEE is essentially a platform that allows game developers to integrate programmable currencies, including BTC, into their games. According to Kingsway Capital managing partner Afonso Campos, the payments platform is powered by the Lightning Network, making ZEBEDEE the “preferred Bitcoin enabler” for its partners.

Blockchain security firm raises $90M Series A

Blockchain security firm Halborn closed a $90 million funding round in July led by Summit Partners with participation from Castle Island Ventures, Digital Currency Group and Brevan Howard, among others. Halborn was founded in 2019 by ethical hackers who provide blockchain security services. The company recently warned MetaMask users not to worry about phishing campaigns targeting their browser wallets.

DeFi platform Hashflow raises $25M in Series A funding

Hashflow, a San Francisco-based decentralized financial trading platform, has closed a $25 million funding round, backed by some of the most prominent venture funds in the crypto space. The investment round, with participation from Jump Crypto, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital Partners and GSR, will help Hashflow expand its offerings for market tokens and institutional traders.

Socios acquires 24.5% stake in Barcelona studio

Fan engagement token platform Socios announced in early August that it would invest $100 million in Barca Studios, the digital content arm of FC Barcelona. Socios, owned by blockchain technology provider Chiliz, will help FC Barcelona accelerate its Web3 and non-fungible token (NFT) engagement strategy. Specifically, Barca Studios is looking to NFT and metaverse projects to help football clubs interact with their huge global fan base, and will rely on Socios’ blockchain to implement the strategy.

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EtherMail secures seed funding for wallet-to-wallet communication

Web3 email solution EtherMail has raised $3 million ahead of plans to launch its crypto wallet-to-wallet communication service. Released in the third quarter, EtherMail will enable Web3 companies to “send rich, relevant content directly to their asset holders,” reducing the risk of communications fraud. The service also simplifies the distribution of community newsletters by enabling autonomous, self-updating mailing lists. The seed round was led by Fabric Ventures and Greenfield One.