Fractional Rebrands to Tessera after Raising $20m from Paradigm

Fractional, a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) based platform, has rebranded its name to Tessera and raised $20 million as it is pursuing avenues to re-affirm its foothold in the digital collectable world.


Tessera, as the startup is now renamed, said the funding round was led by Paradigm, with participation from Focus Labs, Uniswap Labs Ventures, E Girl Capital, and Yunt Capital. Additionally, the funding round was backed by about 50 Angel Investors, the majority of whom have deep expertise in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and NFT worlds. 

As highlighted by Tessera founder and CEO Andy Chorlian, these angel investors will be very instrumental in giving the right feedback and suggestions to improve the protocol.

Tessera’s business model primarily revolves around the splitting of NFTs such that users can earn a royalty on the parts they give out for rent. There are many use cases attached to this, but in all, it prevents users from parting ways with their digital collectable prematurely. 

With the new capital injection, Chorlian said it plans to develop a new protocol that will help sustain the integrity of the fractionalized NFTs.  

The funding will also be deployed into adding more staff to the 24 persons it currently works with. According to Chorlian, these new hands will span marketing, engineering, and other divisions that are needed for the platform to maintain a healthy brand and enhance product recognition. 

In all, Tessera will work towards simplifying its processes such that users can have better experiences using the protocol.

“It was a really, really big barrier for a lot of our users, who are just so used to trading NFTs on OpenSea or any of these other marketplaces, and that level of education and trying to explain how all this works was just a step too far for a lot of people,” Chorlian told Fortune.

NFT-focused platforms are of particular interest to investors, a trend provable with the previous capital injections received by Magic Eden and OpenSea in the past year.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Cryptocurrency Wallet Phantom Marks $1.2 Billion Valuation Amid Recent Funding Round

Investments in cryptocurrency are incomplete without a crypto wallet to store your assets. A good crypto wallet will house your coins and provide adequate security that will be pretty difficult for external invasion. The wallet could be either online or offline storage.

Due to its relevance, several crypto exchanges offer their customers their online crypto wallet services. This means that if you intend to use such wallets, you won’t have to move your tokens from the exchange platform.

Additionally, some crypto networks now have wallets that customers could use, of which Phantom wallet from the Solana network is one of them.

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With the increasing activities and growth of DeFi operations on Solana, there is a need for the network’s wallet. Moreover, it forms an excellent synchronization to the meteoric rise of the blockchain as Solana now has more than $15 billion in assets under its control.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Sees Poor Demand As Investors Try to Defend $37K, Is BTC In Trouble?

This will help customers to interact with the DeFi ecosystem through its numerous provisions fully. In addition, Phantom creates a unique integration of Solana’s nascent DEXs, liquidity pools, and even lending protocol.

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The recent funding round of Phantom raised the market cap of the wallet to $1.2 billion. This new height of Phantom came with the addition of $109 million from the recently concluded Series B funding round.

Paradigm, a crypto venture capital firm, led the financing round to its enormous success. The power of Phantom’s height has changed the wallet’s status to a crypto unicorn company.

Cryptocurrency Wallet Phantom Plans To Launch IOS Application

On Monday, Phantom released an official blog post outlining how the generated funds will be utilized to improve the wallet’s technical capacity.

The deployment will enhance multiple blockchain security, boost customers’ experience, and assist users in uncovering decentralized applications. Also, it will help in the wallet team’s expansion with more growth in its customer base.

Besides Paradigm as the pioneer of the funding round, the top investors contributed to its success. Variant, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Jump Capital, and Solana Ventures.

Furthermore, there will be a launch of the iOS mobile app of the Phantom wallet. According to Phantom’s announcement last November, the launching of a mobile application will facilitate the rapid growth of the Solana network.

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Users will get the proper support to seamlessly execute their transactions at any location. They could send, receive, and store tokens and NFTs. Also, they could join in the staking of SOL coins.

Additionally, Phantom bears the plan of launching its Android wallet within the year. It mentioned that this latter move would boost its mission of empowering its customer base. Also, it will offer unique opportunities for innovating on security and safety.

Related Reading | TA: Bitcoin Topside Bias Vulnerable If It Continues To Struggle Below $38K

Presently, Phantom has more than 2 million active users daily. It has over 12.4 million staked SOL tokens worth $10.4 billion. Its swapped tokens are about $1.37 billion and have executed 55.2 million DeFi, NFT and app transactions.

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Solana’s Wallet Phantom has Secured a $109M Series B Investment Led by Paradigm

Solana’s wallet Phantom has secured a $109 million Series B investment led by cryptocurrency firm Paradigm.

Wallet, as the most critical user touchpoint, acts as a gateway for exchanges and smart contracts. Phantom is valued at $1.2 billion after this round of financing, which officially made Phantom a unicorn.

A unicorn is a technology startup that has been established in less than 10 years but is valued at more than $1 billion and has not been listed on the stock market.

Six months ago, Phantom received a $9 million Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, 

CEO Brandon Millman noted that the company has been getting about 100,000 users on a weekly basis.

The company also said it is launching an iOS app and will release an Android native app in the coming months

Brandon Millman expressed an eagerness to move to open source but said it was difficult to prioritize.

He said that:

“Once it’s open-source, there’s this implicit expectation around responding to people who are leaving issues on the GitHub repo, people who are submitting pull requests, wanting to get features into the wallet,” he said. “We don’t want to start doing those things quite yet.”

The next goal for Phantom is to develop multi-chain compatibility and add support for another blockchain outside of the Solana ecosystem in its wallet.

Multi-chain will provide users with more investment opportunities.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Phantom Releases iOS App, Announces $109M in New Funding

Key Takeaways

  • The Solana-based wallet Phantom has raised $109 million for a $1.2 billion valuation.
  • The Series B round was led by Paradigm, and represents a 12-fold increase in funding since Phantom’s last raise.
  • Phantom also announced the launch of its iOS app today.

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Phantom has raised $109 million in a Series B funding round led by Paradigm, putting the Solana-based wallet’s valuation at $1.2 billion. It has also announced the release of its iOS app, available today.

A Nine-Figure Raise

Phantom, Solana’s most popular wallet application, has reason to celebrate today.

Phantom announced today that it has achieved a $1.2 billion valuation upon raising $109 million in a Paradigm-led Series B funding round. The funds will be used for further hiring, cross-platform expansion, and application discovery. 

Moreover, Phantom has announced that its iOS app is publicly available as of today. In addition to gaining access to applications on Solana’s network, users of Phantom’s iOS app can manage and display their NFTs as well as stake the SOL token with network validators, thereby earning yield while helping secure the network. The wallet has already been used to stake over 112 million SOL.

Phantom’s beta launched last March, becoming open to all in July. The wallet already has more than 1.8 million monthly active users. This rapid growth has likely been facilitated by the concurrent rapid growth in the Solana ecosystem. Last year, from March to November, the network’s total value locked similarly saw roughly 100-fold growth, from around $150 million to $15 billion, though that number has now nearly halved as of today, according to DeFi Llama.

On the growth of Phantom, CEO Brandon Millman called the wallet “a Web3 wallet for the masses.”

The leader of the Series B round, venture capital firm Paradigm, launched the crypto industry’s record fund of $2.5 billion last November, though that record may soon be passed if Andreessen Horowitz succeeds in its target $4.5 billion raise this quarter. 

The nine-figure raise announced by Phantom today represents an approximate 12-fold increase from its fundraise of $9 million in July 2021. 

In preparation of today’s iOS launch, the Phantom team dealt with some community pushback last month when it announced that its beta would be made available to those who bought one of its 7,000 auctioned NFTs. It backtracked on those plans that same day. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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Crypto VC Paradigm Invests in Citadel Securities or Crypto VC Paradigm Diversifies Into TradFi World or Crypto VC Paradigm Invests in Stock Market Maker Citadel Securities

Key Takeaways

  • The crypto investment fund Paradigm, alongside VC Sequoia Capital, has taken part in a $1.15 billion investment into Citadel Securities.
  • Citadel Securities accounts for over 25% of the volume traded in U.S. equities markets, but it has faced increasing scrutiny since Robinhood restricted trading of Gamestop shares last January.
  • The market maker giant might be planning to incorporate digital assets into its business.

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Paradigm is set to take part in a $1.15 billion investment into the electronic-trading firm, Citadel Securities, with one of the United States’ largest venture capital firms, Sequoia Capital. 

A $22 Billion Valuation

One of the most prolific crypto and Web3 investors, Paradigm, has diversified into the world of traditional finance. 

Today, Citadel Securities announced that it had secured a $1.15 billion investment from the crypto and Web3 investment firm Paradigm, alongside venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. This investment represents the prolific market maker’s first outside investment, and the minority stake sold by Citadel Securities valued the firm at approximately $22 billion. 

According to Citadel Securities CEO Peng Zhao, the firm’s partnership with Paradigm and Sequoia should allow it to scale the business into new markets and bring in more talent. Moreover, according to The Wall Street Journal, the money raised could pave the way for the business to go public via initial public offering.

Citadel Securities is separately managed from Ken Griffin’s $43 billion hedge fund Citadel, but it is still majority owned by Griffin. While the hedge fund billionaire Griffin has historically been skeptical of cryptocurrencies, and his firms have not traded in them, it seems likely that Citadel Securities will incorporate digital assets into its business at some point. The Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Paradigm, Matt Huang, said that the partnership between his firm and Citadel Securities takes place “as they extend their technology and expertise to even more markets and asset classes, including crypto.” 

Paradigm has an extensive crypto, Web3 portfolio that includes Coinbase, Cosmos, Uniswap, and Ethereum scaling solutions like Optimism and Aztec. In November 2021, the firm launched the largest crypto fund of all time, $2.5 billion dedicated to Web3 projects. 

Sequoia Capital is an American VC fund with around $80 billion in assets under management, and its investments include both Google and Airbnb before either firm went public. 

Citadel Securities, majority owned by Ken Griffin who beat out ConstitutionDAO with a $43 million bid on one of the original copies of the U.S. Constitution last November, is a market maker that accounts for approximately one quarter of the volume of shares traded on the U.S. stock market each day. While business has been good for the firm since the pandemic due to increased market volatility and trading, Citadel Securities faced scrutiny following the aftermath of the Wall Street Bets and Gamestop short-squeeze frenzy in January of last year. It was accused of—allegedly—playing a major role in the trading restrictions of Gamestop shares imposed by brokerages like Robinhood. 

The investment into the traditional markets trading firm by Paradigm marks a possible diversification from crypto-related assets, but that might change if Citadel Securities eventually does foray into the crypto markets. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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OpenSea Hits $13.3B Valuation Following Series C Raise

Key Takeaways

  • OpenSea has closed its Series C funding round, raising $300 million from several new and existing investors.
  • The latest raise values the company at $13.3 billion.
  • OpenSea will use the funds to accelerate product development, launch a grant program, and hire new staff.

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OpenSea has secured another $300 million in its Series C funding round, giving the company a $13.3 billion post-money valuation. 

OpenSea Valued at $13.3B 

OpenSea is kicking off 2022 with another mammoth raise. 

The leading NFT marketplace announced the end of its Series C funding round Monday, raising $300 million at a $13.3 billion valuation. Venture capital firms Paradigm and Coatue led the round, with several new and existing investors also participating. 

The latest raise follows two fundiung rounds it conducted in 2021 amid NFT technology’s first mainstream boom. In March, it completed a Series A round that saw participation from angel investors like Mark Cuban and Tim Ferris. Following that, in July, it closed a $100 million Series B funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz that valued the firm at $1.5 billion.

In a blog post announcing the raise, OpenSea outlined four key goals it is aiming to achieve with its latest cash injection, stating: 

“We have four goals for this funding: 1) accelerate product development, 2) significantly improve customer support and customer safety, 3) meaningfully invest in the wider NFT and Web3 community, and 4) grow our team.”

To boost OpenSea’s product development, the company has hired a new VP of Product to help fill the gap left by Nate Chastain, its previous Head of Product. Chastain memorably left the company in September after he was caught insider trading NFTs listed on OpenSea. Shiva Rajaraman will now lead OpenSea’s product development, joining the company from Meta, where he was the VP of Commerce.

Also noted is OpenSea’s commitment to investing in the NFT community. The firm has stated that funds from its latest raise will go toward launching a grant program, directly supporting the “developers, builders, and creators shaping the future of the NFT space.”

OpenSea’s relationship with NTF creators took a hit in December when the company’s new CFO Brian Roberts hinted at taking the firm public to raise more capital. Many in the NFT community had hoped OpenSea would partly decentralize through issuing a token via an airdrop to early adopters. However, talks of an Initial Public Offering have dashed hopes that OpenSea will reward users through an airdrop. 

In addition to product development and community investment, OpenSea will also use the new raise to keep its house in order by improving customer support and growing its talent pool. The company states it expects to double its customer support team of 60 people by the end of 2022. Additionally, OpenSea has posted job listings for new brand and music partnership managers, a community manager, as well as several more engineers and product designers. 

OpenSea had a landslide year in 2021 as NFTs went mainstream, taking over $14 billion in revenue over 12 months. With the latest raise, the firm will have its sights set on further expansion as the technology grows.

Disclosure: At the time of writing this feature, the author owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Alameda Ventures Co-Leads $35 Million Series A for Liquidity Network Paradigm

Paradigm – an institutional liquidity network for crypto derivatives traders – recently closed a $35 million Series A funding round. Co-led by Alameda Ventures and Jump Capital, this round places the company’s value at $400 million.

Paradigm’s Role

According to a recent statement, over 25 other investors participated in the company’s most recent funding round. These include Nexo, Genesis Trading, Babel Finance, Dragonfly Capital, Digital Currency Group, and others.

Paradigm is meant to provide a bridge for institutional investors between traditional finance and the crypto economy. It allows them to trade complex derivatives products in both Cefi and Defi ecosystems.

The company has achieved remarkable growth, having increased trading volume over its network by 1300% year-over-year. That’s over $10 billion of value traded per month, working with over 600 institutions. It currently accounts for 30% of global options volume.

Ramnik Arora – Head of Product at FTX – said Paradigm will “play an increasingly important role” in the trading ecosystem, as the market matures.


“For every large or complex trade, the trader needs to ping multiple chats, get quotes and process them manually, settle them on a one-off basis. Paradigm makes this workflow seamless for complex derivatives transactions delivering pricing efficiency, low execution and settlement risk.”

FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried is also the founder of Alameda, one of the major investors of this round. Recently, Alameda helped launch Defi’s very first syndicated loan product (a loan backed by multiple lenders).

“At Paradigm, we are focused on establishing a robust network before monetizing,” said Anand Gomes – Co-founder and CEO of Paradigm.  “This funding round allows us to continue building out our network of institutional traders, CeFi exchanges, and DeFi protocols, while also enhancing our 24/7 customer support, and expanding upon our current product offerings to better accommodate the needs of our clients.”

Paradigm’s Venture Fund

Last month, Paradigm announced a $2.5 billion venture fund dedicated to crypto companies and protocols. This was the biggest venture fund seen in the crypto industry to date, breaking the previous $2.2 billion record set by Andreessen Horowitz in June.


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Paradigm unveils new $2.5B crypto fund

Crypto investment firm Paradigm has revealed a new $2.5 billion”New Venture Fund” to expand its investment into cryptocurrency companies and protocols.

According to a Nov. 15 announcement, Paradigm co-founders Fred Ahrsam and Matt Huang stated that “the fund and its size are reflective of crypto being the most exciting frontier in technology.”

The Financial Times reported that the funding pool is now the largest among VC crypto funds, edging out Andreesen Horowitz’s (a16z) $2.2 billion raise in June of this year.

The announcement did not state which sectors within the cryptocurrency industry the New Venture Fund will be allocated to.

Paradigm has historically invested in crypto projects that utilize Web 3.0 to deploy their applications, with roughly 11 of the 40 companies and projects in its portfolio comprising DeFi protocols. Paradigm has also invested in crypto-native exchanges, borrowing and lending platforms. Some of the biggest names in its portfolio include Coinbase, FTX, Uniswap, and Sky Mavis.

Despite Paradigm’s new fund claiming the title of crypto’s largest, Ehrsam tweeted that he and Huang are “just getting started.”

Ehrsam and Huang stated in the announcement that their mission to be “the earliest and most helpful partner to crypto entrepreneurs and communities” has not changed.

Related: DeFi, CeFi and institutions: AscendEX’s $50M raise highlights ambitions beyond exchange business

Paradigm’s recent investments include Solana-based lending protocol Jet Protocol, and nonfungible token (NFT)-based battling game AI Arena. The firm has recently increased its exposure to NFT platforms, also investmenting in Royal and Fractional during August.

Crypto investment firm Paradigm announced on Nov. 15 the launch of its $2.5 billion”New Venture Fund” to help it continue investing in cryptocurrency companies and protocols.