BondbloX Secures $6M in Series B Funding Led by Beacon Venture Capital

Singapore-based Fintech BondEvalue Pte. Ltd. has added new investor Beacon Venture Capital, the corporate venture arm of Thailand’s Kasikornbank, to its cap table as part of a US$6m Series B round, according to official announcement. Beacon Venture Capital joins existing shareholders MassMutual Ventures and Citigroup who also participated in the round. 

Other investors include existing shareholders Potato Productions, a company helmed by entrepreneur Lee Han Shih, and Octava, a Singapore-based family office. 

The latest round follows a Series A raise of US$6m in 2021. This additional funding will allow the Company to scale BondbloX Bond Exchange (BBX), its digital exchange for trading fractional and full-size bonds, as well as grow its international expansion to Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) in India, which recently went live. 

Powered by distributed ledger technology, BondbloX enables investors to buy and sell bonds in denominations of US$1,000 instead of the usual US$200,000, and through a public exchange where prices are highly transparent. 

BBX has seen strong interest from global clients since launching the platform to individual investors last month. BBX also has future plans to list US Bonds (Treasuries as well as Corporate Bonds) on the platform.

This announcement follows the announcement made last month that Citi is the first digital custodian participant of BondbloX Bond Exchange (BBX) for the institutional market. The partnership will allow Citi’s clients that meet certain criteria to become BBX participants and begin trading bonds (both fractionalised and full-sized) almost immediately. 

“We are immensely honoured to welcome Beacon VC to our Series B round, as well as other new and existing shareholders including Citi and MassMutual Ventures,” said Dr. Rahul Banerjee, Co-Founder and CEO. “The bond market is broken globally, and BondbloX is on a mission to allow individual investors the same access to the market that institutional firms enjoy. We look forward to working together with Beacon VC and other investors to redefine Bond investing” he added.

 In joining the recent round Thanapong Na Ranong, Managing Director of Beacon VC, said, “BondbloX is truly innovating Bond investing and disrupting an asset class which has lagged in digitization. The use of distributed ledger technology coupled with traditional financial custodians excites us and has great potential to re-shape the bond market for all.”

Henry Salmon, Head of Investments, Securities Services, Citi, said: “The digitization of markets, assets and processes is an accelerating industry trend and a key investment theme for Citi. We are delighted to continue our investment in BondbloX. I believe their embrace of new technology and the innovation in the bond market has delivered a unique value proposition.”

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OKX Ventures Invests in Celestia Lab’s Series B Funding for Modular Blockchain Development

OKX Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of notable cryptocurrency exchange and Web3 technology firm OKX, declared its involvement in the Series B funding phase of Celestia Lab today. Celestia stands as the pioneering modular blockchain network which allows developers to utilize its platform as a foundational layer for consensus and data processes. Post this, developers have the liberty to select a virtual machine, such as Ethereum, Solana, or zero-knowledge roll-ups among other compatible smart contract execution layers, to create and launch their distinct blockchain networks. This notion diverges from the earlier blockchain infrastructure generations where Layer-1 chains were responsible for consensus, data operations, and execution collectively, a setup referred to as ‘monolithic’ by Celestia.

Moreover, Celestia is anticipated to be the first-ever blockchain network to integrate Data Availability Sampling (DAS) upon its launch slated for later this year. DAS embodies a more agile and lighter method to authenticate blocks without necessitating nodes to download the entirety of the data within a block. By enabling nodes to validate smaller, randomly chosen data segments within a block, Celestia aims to circumvent the scalability compromises that have traditionally impeded Layer-1s till now.

Expressing her views on the development, Dora Yue, the Founder of OKX Ventures remarked, “Observing scalability, a shift towards modularity in the blockchain sector is noticeable. Celestia has spearheaded a modular approach that presents a totally distinct paradigm in comparison to conventional Layer-1 chains, offering developers enhanced customization options and potentially propelling blockchain infrastructure into a new epoch.”

Developers leveraging Celestia as a primary layer for rolling out modular blockchains can reap several advantages including elevated scalability, shared security fostering interoperability amidst applications, and the flexibility to choose among execution environments like Ethereum and Solana.

Recently, as reported by Blockchain.News, OKX Ventures underlined its continual support for the crypto sector by funding promising projects like Aark Digital, dappOS, and 0xScope, as detailed in its September report. These ventures aim to address different crypto challenges, with Aark Digital focusing on enhancing decentralized exchange platforms, dappOS improving user experience in decentralized applications, and 0xScope democratizing data access across Web2 and Web3. These strategic investments by OKX Ventures are in tandem with its recent backing of Celestia Lab’s modular blockchain technology in the Series B funding round, reinforcing its dedication to fueling innovation and growth in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

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Neara Secures $24M Series B Boosting Utilities’ Resilience and Renewable Energy Integration

Key Takeaways

* Neara clinches $24M in Series B funding, taking the total to $24M with a $10M extension led by Prosus Ventures on September 27, 2023.

* The infusion will bolster Neara’s AI-driven infrastructure modeling platform advancing natural disaster mitigation and clean energy assimilation.

* Neara’s ambitious global expansion and novel System of Enablement functionality are set to catalyze the energy transition, especially in the US and Europe.

Sydney-based Neara, a pioneer in infrastructure modeling employing artificial intelligence (AI) for comprehensive 3D network simulations and analytics, heralded a $10M additional capital influx on September 27, 2023, alongside a groundbreaking case study to amplify the existing line capacity for renewable energy. Prosus Ventures led the Series B extension, with existing investors Skip Capital and Square Peg Capital showing continued support, elevating Neara’s total Series B fund to $24M. The new capital is earmarked for accelerating Neara’s international footprint and the furtherance of its innovative System of Enablement functionality.

Harnessing AI for Renewable Energy Integration

At the core of Neara’s mission is its AI simulation and analytics platform, poised as a linchpin in the energy transition, enabling utilities to make well-informed, system-wide determinations. The System of Enablement proffers a unified model to tackle paramount macro issues, ranging from robust grid designs, mitigating catastrophic weather-induced damages, to speeding up renewable energy incorporation utilizing existing network infrastructure, articulated Neara’s Chief Commercial Officer Jack Curtis. The investment from Prosus Ventures is deemed a catalyst in hastening the development of Neara’s System of Enablement to offer a centralized decision-making platform for crucial stakeholders in the energy transition ecosystem.

Global Expansion and Technology Advancements

With sights set on the United States and Europe, Neara aims to deliver enterprise-grade, 3D network modeling technology, leveraging AI/Machine Learning (ML) to harmoniously aggregate utilities’ diverse data spectrum into a hyper-realistic digital simulation environment. The technology empowers utilities to envisage how their assets will behave in real-world scenarios under varied conditions based on an extensive array of network and environmental variables. This is instrumental in eradicating network monitoring blind spots, enhancing grid resilience against severe weather, and diminishing reliance on manual field surveys.

Empirical Case Studies and Strategic Partnerships

In a collaboration with EMPACT Engineering, Neara executed a proprietary line rating case study in a burgeoning Central Texas region. The platform identified that a staggering 94.5% of the lines could safely operate at double the current capacity, thereby significantly augmenting clean energy integration using existing infrastructure. Similarly, in New South Wales, Australia, a partnership with Essential Energy yielded a twofold increase in existing network availability through software analytics, enlarging the scope for renewable asset connectivity.

Addressing Network Constraints and Accelerating Renewable Infrastructure

Beyond merely enhancing existing infrastructure, Neara is fervently addressing major network bottlenecks to the energy transition, particularly the development and construction of new transmission lines. Through Neara’s platform, network utilities can employ a whole-of-life-cycle network model for route optimization, community engagement, and boosting development and construction pace, eventually hastening the time frame within which vital renewable infrastructure can be operationalized and utilized to clear renewable project backlogs.

About Neara and Prosus Ventures

Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Neara stands as the world’s most extensive 3D simulation and analytics platform for electricity network infrastructure, facilitating sophisticated analyses for real-world scenario understanding, thereby enabling grid operators to make highly precise decisions. On the other side, Prosus, a global consumer internet group, is steadfast in driving positive societal and planetary impact through technology investments, with a portfolio extending across online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education technology sectors, among others.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.


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Uniswap Labs Rakes in $165M in Series B as Valuation Hits $1.66B

Uniswap Labs has landed the sum of $165 million in Series B funding as it looks to focus on the release of new products.


According to the protocol’s founder, Hayden Adams, the funding round was led by  Polychain Capital and with participation from longtime investors a16z crypto, Paradigm, SV Angel, and Variant.


With the funding, Uniswap has now further extended its position as a crypto unicorn, signaling a massive shift from a protocol that was created as an experiment back in 2018 to one that is very critical in the transfer and exchange of value in the digital currency world. With the latest funding round, Uniswap has increased its valuation to $1.66 billion.

According to Hayden, the Uniswap vision is expanding and the funding will be used to accelerate growth across various verticals. He noted that the iconic Decentralized Exchange (DEX) engine is pushing to reach more users globally and to float new products including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), creating a web app and developer tools, and moving into mobile amongst many other innovations already outlined.

The latest capital injection will help achieve its goals in this regard as Hayden pointed out and per the community prompting, the protocol said it has earmarked the sum of $60 million to help drive the building of new solutions by using it to support developers in its ecosystem.

The Uniswap protocol has been used to process as much as $1.2 trillion in transactions and the Uniswap V3 engine ranks as the 4th largest DEX per transaction volume according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Many protocols have been restrategizing their business models with new funding and management reshuffle. Earlier this week, competing DEX platform, dYdX appointed Charles d’Haussy from ConsenSys to help lead its Foundation as it also seeks new growth potentials across several markets.

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OpenSea is the latest crypto unicorn after $100M funding round

OpenSea has become the latest crypto unicorn after it announced a $100 million Series B funding round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz at a valuation of $1.5 billion.

The unicorn status is attributed to firms that are valued at over $1 billion, and OpenSea now joins a long list of crypto unicorns such as Coinbase, Animoca Brands and Chainalysis to name a few.

The fundraise included participation from hedge fund and private equity firm Coatue, along with backing from figures such as former Walt Disney president Michael Ovitz, actor Ashton Kutcher and NBA star Kevin Durant.

In a July 20 blog post, alongside the $100M funding round OpenSea also officially announced expanded-blockchain support, starting with a “gas-free” marketplace on Polygon, a layer 2 Ethereum scaling solution.

“Buyers no longer have to pay blockchain fees when making trades on OpenSea, and creators can fully earn their way into crypto for the first time,” the firm revealed.

According to TechCrunch, OpenSea also is planning to expand support to Dapper Lab’s Flow blockchain along with Tezos in the future.

The latest funding round shows significant growth for one of the top NFT marketplaces in the industry and follows on from its $23 million Series A funding round in March, which was also led by Andreessen Horowitz.

OpenSea specifically didn’t confirm what the funds would go toward, but a Forbes report stated the funds will be used to grow the team, building further cross-chain support, and improving user experience. Kathryn Haun, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz will also be joining OpenSea’s board of directors.

Related: Nifty News: Muse frontman drops track as NFT, chimps create NFTs and more…

OpenSea also teased that it has ambitions to launch other projects to accompany its NFT marketplace in the future:

“Our broader mission is to help create the systems and standards that enable the conversion of all types of digital wealth into forms that are truly ownable and freely exchangeable.”

Despite a general cool down of hype towards the NFT over the past few months, Cointelegraph reported on July 7 that NFT sales in the first half of 2021 topped $2.5 billion.

According to data from DappRader, the OpenSea marketplace has seen $181.92 million worth of volume from 553,000 transactions over the past 30 days.