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GameFi firm Azra Games raises $15 million in seed funding led by a16z

Azra Games, a blockchain gaming startup, raised $15 million in seed funding, according to a Thursday announcement. The venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led the round, with additional participation from NFX, Coinbase Ventures, Play Ventures and Franklin Templeton.  Azra Games will use the funds to build out its first game Project Arcanas, a sci-fi fantasy epic with mass combat and role-playing game (RPG) elements. The game will feature web3 technology like virtual collectibles.  The firm was founded by Mark …

A16z leads $25 million seed round for NFT infrastructure startup Co:Create

Co:Create, a crypto startup building an infrastructure protocol to help NFT projects launch tokens and manage DAOs, has raised $25 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Other investors include Tom Brady’s NFT platform Autograph, Packy McCormick’s Not Boring Capital, FTX Ventures’ Amy Wu, Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund and the teams behind NFT fractionalization platform Fractional.art and Nike-acquired NFT studio RTFKT, the company announced on Tuesday. ‘Beyond the drop’ Co:Create says its protocol, currently under development, aims to …

LootRush raises $12 million to make blockchain games easier to play

LootRush, a platform that aims to improve user access to blockchain games, has raised $12 million in seed funding. The round was led by crypto VC firm Paradigm, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz. Other backers include Y Combinator, Brex founders, and angel investors like the founders of Axie Infinity, Plaid, Wildlife Studios, Dapper Labs, The Chainsmokers, and Vivi Nevo. LootRush is trying to address three problems that game developers face when trying to get games to reach mass adoption, according …

a16z Crypto is launching an academic research lab focused on web3

Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is diving deeper into the crypto market with the launch of a new academic lab dedicated to tackling research problems facing the fast-growing digital asset industry.  Dubbed a16z Crypto Research, the new unit will be led by Tim Roughgarden, a prominent academic expert in game theory who has been a professor at both Stanford and Columbia. He joined a16z as a research advisor last year and will now take the title of head of …

Key crypto hires, exits and moves: March 2022

Poly Network Is Building Cross-Chain NFT Adoption and Circulation The world of NFTs has seen a huge leap over the past few years, and this trend has continued into 2022. Major NFT ecosystems have been rapidly growing in their NFT trading volume and application size. Besides Ethereum, numerous ecosystems, such as BNB Chain and Polygon, have developed their own market for NFTs. Read Full Story

Cross River Bank announces $620 million funding round led by Eldridge and a16z

New Jersey-based fintech Cross River Bank announced today that it has closed a $620 million financing round.  Eldridge and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led the round, with participation from T. Rowe Price Investment Management, Whale Rock and Hanaco Ventures. Existing Cross River investors also participated.   “The quality of the investor group and size of our latest funding make this a landmark transaction in the financial technology arena, and will enable us to accelerate the growth of Cross River as the foundation …

Katie Haun raises $1.5 billion for pair of crypto venture funds

Haun Ventures, led by former federal prosecutor Katie Haun, has raised $1.5 billion for two crypto-focused venture capital funds. According to Axios, the money is divided between two pots: $500 million for early-stage investments and $1 billion for a so-called “accelerator” fund. Axios reports that Haun Ventures will invest in equity as well as tokens directly. “We’ve assembled a world class team of leaders that have deep experience in very specific areas (inside of crypto and out). They are all-in …

Andreessen Horowitz appoints Treasury official as head of regulatory

Andreessen Horowitz appointed Michele Korver, an official at the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), as head of regulatory as the venture capital firm continues its push into crypto and web3.  Korver has spent more than 25 years in government and regulatory roles and is known as one of the foremost federal prosecutors in crypto, the firm known as a16z wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. She’s served as FinCEN’s chief digital currency advisor and worked across the Treasury, …

Polychain and Coinbase alum Sam Rosenblum joins KRH Partners

The newly-launched crypto venture firm KRH Partners has found a new partner in Polychain Capital and Coinbase alum Sam Rosenblum. Kathryn Haun formed KRH Partners at the start of this year after departing a16z where she worked as a partner for its crypto investing unit. The fund secured a16z as a limited partner, and the two firms will likely continue to collaborate, a source told The Block last month.  Rosenblum announced his move to KRH Partners today on Twitter. Rosenblum …

Crypto art collector PleasrDAO is raising $69 million

PleasrDAO, a collective of crypto luminaries, is seeking an investment of $69 million. A slide from the group’s fundraising deck, obtained by The Block, shows that it plans to add $69 million – categorized as an investment — to its treasury by February 2022. Two people briefed on the raise said PleasrDAO is aiming for a valuation of roughly $1 billion. A spokesperson for PleasrDAO declined to comment.  The group — a decentralized autonomous organization or DAO — was formed …