Bear market? VCs throw $1.1B at Bitcoin miners and NFT fantasy football

Crypto markets might be in another slump, but VCs don't seem concerned. They're throwing cash at blockchain startups like it's 2015.

Bitcoin miners Genesis Digital Assets and NFT-powered fantasy football startup Sorare disclosed major VC funding rounds this week, together worth over $1.1 billion.

Venture capital giant SoftBank led Paris-based Sorare’s $680 million Series B, via its Vision Fund 2.

Sorare’s existing investors — Benchmark, Accel, and Headline — also participated. The deal bumped Sorare’s valuation to $4.3 billion.

Investment firm Paradigm led Genesis’ round, which raised $431 million. Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX joined in, alongside New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) and London hedge fund Kingsway Capital.

This was Kingsway Capital’s second go at New York-based Genesis after it invested $125 million only two months ago. Genesis plans to use the cash to expand its mining operations.

VCs dish funds across the board

While funding rounds for startups are generally a dime a dozen, the size of these two raises underscores the growing appetite investors have for all things crypto.

As of August 2021, VC funds have reportedly infused some $17 billion into cryptocurrency and blockchain plays this year, according to data from PitchBook — a new record.

A sizeable chunk went to Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange-slash-investment firm FTX. In July, FTX raised $900 million to hit an $18 billion valuation.

Compare that to all of 2020, when just $3.7 billion was raised across the cryptocurrency space all year.

Not to mention, Sorare’s and Genesis’ raises come on the heels of a crypto slump in 2021’s third quarter.

VCs don’t seem concerned about crypto’s recent volatility.

Read more: [BitClout’s creator didn’t raise $200M for a ‘new’ blockchain — it’s the same old shit]

Crypto markets’ total value peaked in mid-May at a touch below $2.5 trillion. By June, that figure had almost halved.

Early September did see a considerable bounce back to $2.36 trillion, but markets have since slipped 20%, awarding crypto a total value of under $1.9 trillion.

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