The Web3 industry has been gaining significant attention in recent years, with many companies leveraging blockchain and other decentralized technologies to build next-generation platforms and applications.
This seems to have come to a halt lately as data from Crunchbase revealed that venture capital (VC) funding into Web3 start-ups dropped by 82% year-over-year (YoY) from $9.1 billion in Q1 2022 to $1.7 billion in Q1 2023. The $1.7 billion figure also marked the lowest amount of Web3 start-up funding since Q4 2020 when only $1.1 billion was recorded.
The decline came at a time when many people had never heard of Web3, indicating the significant impact of the drop. The lack of funding could have a ripple effect on the growth of the Web3 industry, which is heavily dependent on early-stage investments.
Web3 start-ups are built on blockchain technology and leverage other decentralized technologies to create next-generation applications and platforms. The term “Web3” refers to the next iteration of the internet, where data is decentralized and controlled by individuals rather than centralized authorities.
The potential of the Web3 industry to disrupt multiple industries, including finance, supply chain, and identity management, among others, is enormous.
There could be several reasons for the decline in funding, including regulatory uncertainty, market volatility, and a lack of understanding of the Web3 industry.
Additionally, the recent market crash and subsequent crypto winter may have contributed to the drop in VC funding. Investors may have become hesitant to invest in Web3 start-ups due to concerns about the sustainability of the industry.
Web3 Affected By Drop in Funding
The drop in funding may have implications for the growth of the broader blockchain industry. Many Web3 start-ups are built on blockchain technology, and a lack of funding for these companies could stifle innovation and slow down the adoption of blockchain-based solutions. The Web3 industry is still in its infancy, and without adequate funding, it may struggle to realize its potential.
Although funding for Web3 start-ups has declined, the industry is still garnering interest from major players such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, who are reportedly exploring Web3-related initiatives. This suggests that the industry is still perceived as a potentially profitable market. Nevertheless, it is uncertain whether these companies will opt to invest in Web3 start-ups or create their own solutions in-house.
The drop in VC funding for Web3 start-ups brings to attention the need for regulatory clarity and education around the industry. Without clear guidelines, investors may remain hesitant to invest in the space, and innovation may suffer as a result.
As the Web3 industry continues to evolve, it is crucial that regulators and investors work together to create a sustainable ecosystem that fosters growth and innovation.
Regulatory clarity and education around the industry are crucial for creating a sustainable ecosystem that fosters growth and innovation. While major players continue to explore Web3-related initiatives, it remains to be seen whether they will invest in Web3 start-ups or build their own solutions in-house.
DeFi Sector Attracts Substantial Funding Although Overall Investments Decrease
While there has been a massive decrease in the number of crypto investments, there are still a few companies that have raised significant amounts of capital. The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) sector has seen increased investments from crypto-focused venture capitalists, with several projects receiving substantial funding recently.
LayerZero Labs has successfully concluded a Series B funding round. Over 33 investors, including prominent names like a16z crypto, Sequoia Capital, Christie’s, BOND, Circle Ventures, Lightspeed, Samsung Next, and OpenSea Ventures, contributed to the funding round, which raised $120 million for the company.
LayerZero Labs is a protocol that supports cross-chain communication and interoperability among blockchains. This allows decentralized applications to operate without intermediaries. With the recent funding, LayerZero intends to grow its presence in the Asia-Pacific region and recruit more personnel for its operations at LayerZero Labs.
Scroll ZKP, a scaling solution for Ethereum that utilizes native zkEVM technology, secured $50 million in funding from prominent investors including Polychain Capital, Sequoia, Bain Capital Crypto, and Moore Capital Management. Scroll ZKP leverages zk-rollup technology to execute transactions off the Ethereum network, resulting in faster transaction speeds and lower transaction costs. The platform’s alpha test net is currently operational, and it has already processed 18 million transactions.
DWL Labs, a Web3-centric investment firm, recently invested $40 million in Fetch.ai, a blockchain platform focused on artificial intelligence. Fetch.ai is dedicated to creating open services using AI and streamlining transactions across multiple industries. The investment will be utilized to enhance the platform’s decentralized machine learning, network infrastructure, and autonomous agents.
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