The bear market is still among us! So, where does that leave the crypto VCs or venture capitalists? Well, they’re being cautious. They’re still investing. But, unlike whales, they don’t jump at anything that moves and throw some money at it. No, sir, they are looking carefully at their current next steps.
Anything they invest in at the end of a long bear market, like we have now, needs to have a long-term perspective. Once the bull market is back on track, they want to reap the highest profits. So, let’s take a look at what altcoins VCs are currently investing in.
#1: Pendle Finance (PENDLE)
Pendle Finance is the first pick. This protocol has also been on our radar often recently. They are part of the LSDfi space. As a matter of fact, they are leading the charge in this market segment. During last year, the PENDLE token increased by 719%. That’s pretty good! The current price is $0.55, which is even a far cry from its $2.45 ATH from 2 years ago.
The quintessential LSDfi pool – now offering 50% APY on your favourite yield bearing stablecoin with minimal IL considerations.
— Pendle (@pendle_fi) September 15, 2023
What makes Pendle interesting, is that the team keeps building. Even in this bear market. They think outside the box and are offering more features to their users. They started out with passive yields, but have now added RWAs. These are Real-World Assets, a popular and up-and-coming narrative. Pendle brings the TradFi interest derivative market to DeFi. This piqued interest from Binance Labs. As a result, they invested in Pendle.
#2: Maple Finance (MPL)
Maple Finance is active in the RWA field. Their focus is on institutional adoption. In 2021, at the height of the bull market, they started out with a syndicated loan product. However, their main focus was on Alameda. As we know by now, Alameda went down in flames. As a result, so did Maple’s TVL. Borrowers defaulted and lenders went into hiding.
Now the platform wants to bring TradFi into DeFi. For example, Maple offers tokenized treasury bills. So, on-chain loan businesses backed by RWAs. At first, Maple started out on Ethereum. However, you can also find them now on Solana. So, they’re working on growing their market share.
This resulted in closing a $5 million strategic funding round. Led by BlockTower and Tiago Capital, they got backing from, for example,
- Maven 11 Capital.
- Veris Ventures.
- GSR Ventures.
- The Spartan Group.
- and Cherry Ventures.
Strong first week for Cash Management on @solana!
$4.1M USDC-spl is now earning depositors 4.90%.
— Maple (@maplefinance) September 15, 2023
#3: Drip Haus
Drip Haus is up next, and it’s by far my fave of the day! It’s an NFT marketplace on Solana. But not just your old marketplace. Nope, they offer free NFTs from a wide variety of creators. You need an invitation code from an existing user to join. Every day, you can get a common, rare, or legendary NFT. Degen Poet is arguably their most famous creator. He creates art by typing letters on an old-style typewriter.
But you can also visit their website every 24 hours, to visit their lock-in page. This gives you extra chances to receive a rare or legendary NFT once per week. You can also unlock rewards such as merch, stickers, whitelists, and more NFTs. Just keep collecting.
Hi to all the new Moonshiners out there, thanks to @drip_haus!
Today, the first mini-experience where you can try out your new avatars goes live!
If you're new to Moonshine Labs, we release our apps on Mobile, Web, and Windows. pic.twitter.com/YdV4g6NeCp
— Moonshine Labs – DM for Collabs (@MoonshineLabs) September 15, 2023
Currently, Drip Haus is in season 2. However, they managed to raise a $3 million seed round.
#4: Ellipsis Labs
Ellipsis Labs is the team behind Phoenix Trade. That’s a DEX on Solana, that offers instant settlement. This makes it the first DEX on Solana to offer this. It has a decentralized limit order book. Furthermore, it is on-chain and noncustodial.
There’s one more feature that makes it unique on Solana. It doesn’t need an asynchronous crank to settle trades. This is some technical mumbo jumbo for devs. But it keeps an EventQueue empty. Whatever that means, bear with me.
1/ Phoenix is the first limit order book DEX that is fully on-chain, non-custodial, atomically composable, and crankless.
We’re excited to announce Phoenix’s beta launch, the open-sourcing of the Phoenix program, and Phoenix's bug bounty initiative.
— Ellipsis Labs (@ellipsis_labs) February 28, 2023
Nonetheless, Phoenix is making its mark on Solana. With Solana’s high throughput, it tries to onboard more professional market makers. So, Ellipsis Labs managed to raise $3.3 million in a seed round. Electric Capital led this, with contributions by Robot Ventures and Anagram.
#5: Stroom Network
Stroom Network brings liquid staking for BTC to the table. It operates in the Lightning Network and with EVM-compatible networks. For example, like Ethereum. The Lightning Network gives you fast transactions on the Bitcoin chain. It’s like a layer 2 on top of Bitcoin. It is a payment protocol. Stroom works like a bridge between the Lightning Network and EVM-compatible chains. Specifically, their DeFi ecosystems.
What is Stroom Network?
We believe that Lightning Network, which originally evolved as a way to scale Bitcoin, is a next-generation payment rail technology due to real-time settlement and horizontal scalability, which enables low fees and instant payments.
— Stroom (@StroomNetwork) May 11, 2023
So, you can deposit and stake BTC in the Lightning Network. Now, in return, you receive the InBTC token, an ERC-20 token. This pegs 1:1 to BTC and is redeemable as such. Now you can use this token to start yield farming in EVM ecosystems. So, Greenfield Capital led a $3.5 million seed round for Stroom. Lemniscap and No Limits Holding backed this seed round.
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