In the third quarter of 2021, cryptocurrency companies raise a record-breaking $6.5 billion.

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According to recent Blockdata research, venture funding for blockchain companies reached an all-time high of $6.5 billion in 339 rounds between July and September 2021–and that’s only in disclosed deals.

This is the third consecutive record this year, following $3.83 billion and $5.131 billion raised in the first and second quarters, respectively.

Notably, the most recent figures are nearly double the total amount raised in 2020, when VC funds invested $3.8 billion in crypto companies.

Q3 2021 saw crypto companies raise a record $6.5 billion. Source: Blockdata.

With so much money pouring into the industry, who were the biggest winners?

1. FTX – $900 million

FTX, led by 29-year-old billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, closed a massive $900 million Series B funding round in July, raising the company’s valuation to $18 billion.

Over 60 investors took part in the largest round in the industry’s history, including Sequoia Capital, Paradigm, and Coinbase Ventures.

The funds, as reported at the time, were to be used for various mergers and acquisitions. Shortly after, the exchange’s U.S. affiliate, FTX.US, announced plans to acquire LedgerX, a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

2. Sorare – $680 million

In September, Sorare, a rapidly growing fantasy soccer game based on Ethereum NFT cards, raised $680 million at a valuation of $4.3 billion. SoftBank, a Japanese investment conglomerate that has previously funded several other crypto companies, led the Series B round.

Sorare’s NFT game currently includes over 200 licenced soccer clubs, including FC Barcelona, Juventus FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, and Liverpool FC, as well as players from the Major League Soccer Players Association in the United States.

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3. Genesis Digital Assets – $431 million

Genesis Digital Assets, an American Bitcoin mining company, has closed a $431 million funding round led by Paradigm, with participation from New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), FTX, and others.

This was Genesis Digital’s second round in Q3. The company received a $125 million investment from the UK-based investment management firm Kingsway Capital in July.

Genesis Digital, armed with a sizable war chest, is now planning an aggressive expansion. The company stated that it expects to reach 1.4 gigatonnes of data centre capacity by the end of 2023, an eightfold increase from its capacity in September 2021.

4. Fireblocks – $310 million

The Austria-based firm announced a new $263 million funding round in August, led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Bitpanda was valued at $4.1 billion after the Series C round, which is more than three times what it was valued at after a $170 million raise in March of this year.

Bitpanda intends to use the new funds to expand its B2B presence among banks and fintech companies, as well as to enter new European markets.

Dapper Labs ($250 million), FalconX ($210 million), Blockstream ($210 million), Mercado Bitcoin ($200 million), and Blockdaemon ($155 million) also raised significant amounts during the third quarter.

5. Bitpanda – $263 million

One more entrant to the coveted unicorn club is Bitpanda, the leading crypto trading platform in Europe.

The Austria-based firm announced a new $263 million funding round in August, led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures. Bitpanda was valued at $4.1 billion after the Series C round, which is more than three times what it was valued at after a $170 million raise in March of this year.

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Bitpanda intends to use the new funds to expand its B2B presence among banks and fintech companies, as well as to enter new European markets.

Dapper Labs ($250 million), FalconX ($210 million), Blockstream ($210 million), Mercado Bitcoin ($200 million), and Blockdaemon ($155 million) also raised significant amounts during the third quarter.

This quarter’s most active crypto investors

As for the most active investors that participated in funding rounds in Q3 2021, the report points to Coinbase Ventures, which was involved in a total of 18 deals.

The researchers note that it was “interesting to see that Coinbase Ventures invested in FTX Exchange and CoinDCX, both cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase.”

According to the report, “a potential reason for this could be that Coinbase considers FTX and CoinDCX to be serving a different type of customer than their own.”

According to Blockdata’s analysts, this could imply that the San Francisco-based exchange “could be spreading their risk by investing in other types of cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Following Coinbase, Animoca Brands and Polychain Capital made the second- and third-largest investments, with a total of ten and eleven investments, respectively.

Heavyweights Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z are, of course, absent from the data. “Yes, they are active,” Blockdata said. “However, based on the data we have, not so much in this quarter in terms of equity funding.” “We tend to exclude [token-generating events] (as we have done with ICOs) that may be revisited in the future.”

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a16z’s latest investment in the crypto space was in CoinSwitch Kuber, a crypto exchange based in India.

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