While the crypto space still suffers a bear market, venture capital (VC) firms have still managed to make a number of deals at the start of 2023, proving that the space is very much alive even in what many would call a “crypto winter.”
According to PitchBook’s Crypto Report for the first quarter of 2023, crypto companies were able to raise $2.6 billion across 353 investment rounds. While this proves that the space is still moving, it’s obvious that it’s not as strong as it used to be.
The report showed that there was an 11% decrease in quarter-on-quarter deal value and a 12.2% decrease in the total number of deals. In addition, the quarter also recorded the lowest amount of capital invested in the space since 2020.
The report also noted that valuation trends have been mixed. Seed rounds are up by 33.3% and late-stage rounds are up by 209.2% for the quarter compared to the entire year of 2022. However, early-stage rounds are down by 16.7%.
While the report recognizes that the decline may potentially continue, it also identified some positive outlooks for the space. According to the data, layer-2 scaling solutions are still able to continue their momentum from 2022. The report cited Blockstream raising $125 million to finance a Bitcoin mining infrastructure and Scroll, a firm building a zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine scaling solution, raising $50 million in a late-stage VC round.
Apart from scaling solutions, custody solution providers Ledger and Taurus both received sizable investments in 2023. On March 30, Ledger raised $109 million as demand for self-custody soared. Meanwhile, Taurus raised $65 million in a Series B on Feb. 14.