Q1 2024 Crypto Funding Report: Venture Capitalists Boost Interest Post Bitcoin’s Record High

In the opening quarter of 2024, the crypto market surged with remarkable momentum, nearing an impressive total market capitalization of $3 trillion. This surge marked a pivotal moment as prices soared beyond the peaks witnessed in 2021, validating the steadfast patience of investors and holders alike. The advent of spot Bitcoin ETF trading coupled with a substantial influx of investments propelled unprecedented institutional adoption. Consequently, the cryptocurrency funding ecosystem is experiencing a significant leap forward, propelled by widespread global acceptance.

Q1’s Crypto Funding Touched $2.3 Billion

In the initial quarter of 2024, venture capital (VC) investments surged impressively within the cryptocurrency sector, marking a decisive reversal of a two-year downward trajectory. On-chain data unmistakably reveals a surge in the number of projects securing VC funding since the final quarter of 2023. Nevertheless, amidst this resurgence, it’s worth noting a nearly $800 million decrease in investment compared to the preceding year’s final quarter—a detail that underscores the evolving dynamics of this dynamic landscape.

Venture capital funding in the crypto sector is soaring, with the number of projects securing funding skyrocketing by over 40%, hitting levels not witnessed since the fourth quarter of 2023. This robust surge underscores a clear upward trajectory in investment confidence.

This resurgence in funding marks a stark turnaround from the challenging conditions experienced throughout 2023, characterized by the infamous “crypto winter” that saw a dramatic downturn in venture capital inflows. Startups grappled with securing financial support, as quarterly investments plummeted by a staggering 80% from the peak levels observed in 2021 and 2022.

For instance, the first quarter of 2023 witnessed a meager $1.3 billion raised by cryptocurrency companies, a notable decline from the $8 billion amassed in the same period the previous year. However, in the first quarter of 2024, the total investment amount has surged to nearly $2.3 billion, marking a resilient uptick from the preceding year.

Monthly Breakdown Shows $1 Billion Investment In March

Cryptocurrency firms have witnessed an unprecedented surge in funding since January, with momentum continuing to build following the SEC’s green light on a spot Bitcoin ETF and a significant inflow into ETFs. By March, investments had soared past the $1 billion mark. Here’s a monthly breakdown of funding in the crypto sector:

Of particular interest is the shift away from traditional players like banks and non-crypto venture capitalists, with this quarter showcasing a remarkable uptick in investment activity from crypto-focused venture firms. Leading the charge in this dynamic landscape is OKX Ventures, firmly positioned at the forefront of the graph.

Active Investors And Deals

In the opening quarter, powerhouse crypto-native venture capital firms including OKX Ventures, Animoca Brands, MH Ventures, and DWF Labs took charge, spearheading investment endeavors. March marked an exceptional milestone as these crypto VC titans unleashed over $1 billion across 168 investment rounds. Witnessing a formidable surge, venture capital funding in the cryptocurrency domain skyrocketed by a staggering 59% month-on-month in March, with a predominant focus on bolstering infrastructure and advancing decentralized finance initiatives.

Trending Categories

The graph below not only showcases the most active investors but also highlights the sectors each fund prioritizes. OKX Ventures, Binance Labs, and DWF Labs demonstrate strong interest in DeFi investments, while Animoca Brands and MH Ventures lean towards GamFi and Blockchain services.

In the dynamic landscape of investment, blockchain services and DeFi projects stand out as the focal points for the most active players. However, a discerning few are strategically targeting GameFi, recognizing its potential for rapid adoption and the establishment of immersive entertainment ecosystems. This strategic move is exemplified by investors like Animoca Brands.

In the first quarter of 2024, DeFi asserted its dominance in the fundraising arena, commanding a formidable 25% share of total investments. Conversely, the allure of Blockchain Service for venture capital has waned, now representing just 18% of the overall funding pie.

Amidst surging interest in the crypto sector, DeFi projects are taking the lead, particularly on platforms like Ethereum and Solana, which are currently dominating the scene.

Monthly Fundraising: DeFi Secures 112 Fundraising Rounds

Upon closer examination of the monthly data, it’s evident that DeFi projects maintain a dominant position in fundraising. They lead the pack with an impressive 112 fundraising rounds, securing nearly $382 million in funding. In comparison, blockchain services trailed slightly behind with a total funding of $370 million.

Conversely, NFT initiatives showcase a contrasting trajectory. They consistently rank lowest in terms of funding and exhibit a lower frequency of fundraising events. Data illustrates that NFT projects only managed to secure 15 fundraising rounds, indicating a dwindling interest in the market.

Furthermore, investment rounds falling within the $3-$10 million range amounted to 100, constituting approximately 37% of the total $2.31 billion invested.

Presently, a significant portion of projects are securing modest funding. Nearly 70% of disclosed investment rounds fall within the $1 million to $10 million range. This trend reflects investors’ cautious approach towards allocating substantial sums to crypto startups, as evidenced by the top 6 fundraising efforts of the first quarter of 2024.

US Tops With $785 Million Funding

The United States stands as the unrivaled leader in cryptocurrency fundraising, solidifying its position as the premier destination for investment. With a staggering influx of nearly $785 million into crypto ventures, the nation commands a formidable 34% share of the global investment pool. In a close second, Hong Kong emerges, securing its foothold with a commendable investment tally of $124 million.

Delving deeper into the origins of funding, it’s evident that the USA dominates the landscape, spearheading contributions to crypto projects. A remarkable 881 initiatives have benefited from American funds, showcasing a remarkable 57% surge compared to previous periods.

Notably, U.S.-based venture capitalists demonstrate a distinct inclination towards DeFi projects, with these ventures comprising a significant 27% slice of their overall investment portfolio. Such resolute commitment underscores the unwavering confidence and proactive stance of American investors in shaping the future of decentralized finance.

Blockchain Gaming: A Drop In Funding

DappRadar’s latest data highlights the gaming sector’s Q1 funding at $288 million, marking a 57% decrease from Q4 2023. However, amidst this backdrop, Gunzilla Games secured an impressive $30 million for its upcoming free-to-play battle royale game, Off the Grid. Spearheaded by CoinFund and Avalanche’s Blizzard Fund, this funding aims to fuel Off the Grid’s expansive journey across major gaming platforms such as Sony PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox, and PC.

While the overall funding dip may raise concerns, it’s crucial to recognize that strategic investments like Gunzilla’s will continue to drive innovation in the industry. Rather than hindering progress, such initiatives pave the way for groundbreaking titles and updates that captivate players. By bolstering marketing and community engagement efforts, these investments ensure widespread visibility and sustained player interest, reinforcing the gaming ecosystem’s resilience and growth trajectory.


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