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Cryptocurrency Fundraising in 2023: Big Wins, Down Rounds, and the Unexpected

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan Wong

29 December 2023

In 2023, cryptocurrency fundraising faced challenges amid regulatory crackdowns and market downturns, with notable exceptions. Wormhole, facilitating cross-blockchain communication, secured a staggering $225 million at a $2.5 billion valuation. LayerZero followed with a $120 million raise to $3 billion, highlighting backend startups outperforming flashy counterparts.

Worldcoin, backed by Sam Altman, raised $115 million to create a cryptocurrency-based universal basic income, using iris scans for identity verification. Notably, raised $110 million in a Series E round, marking a down round with a reduced valuation, signaling both excitement and concern in Crypto Winter's aftermath.

Auradine's unexpected $81 million seed funding for a novel Bitcoin mining chip without a product surprised the market. Conversely, the peculiar LayerAI, formerly CryptoGPT, raised $10 million in a series A round, leaving unanswered questions about its function and communication lapse with its sponsor, DWF Labs.

Explore the twists and turns of 2023, from major fundraising successes to the mysteries surrounding emerging crypto startups in an evolving landscape.