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Signs of a crypto VC slowdown emerge

May 19, 2022
Illustration of a bear claw holding a crypto coin.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Just halfway through the second quarter and after a recording-breaking first quarter, crypto funding appears to be decelerating.

Why it matters: Crypto companies have so far bucked the slowdown in the broader venture industry. But cracks are beginning to show.

Driving the news: According to data from Pitchbook, crypto companies have raised roughly $4.8 billion so far in the second quarter.

  • That puts them on track to raise around $8.9 billion for the entire quarter. Last quarter, funding hit $9.7 billion.

Context: There's good reason to expect a sharper slowdown. Global venture dollars have trended downward in the same time frame, with the industry raising roughly 36% ($63.5 billion) of last year's total so far in the second quarter.

  • Meanwhile, several major crypto companies have faced their own struggles, with Coinbase recently slowing down its hiring and seeing its valuation drop to a fraction of what it was at its peak.
  • We also haven't seen the impact of terraUSD's blowup on the industry.

Yes, but: No matter how you look at it, $8.9 billion is still a lot of money for an industry yet to attain widespread mainstream adoption. At that amount, it would be 61 percent higher than the $5.5 billion raised in Q2 2021.

What to watch: Mega fundraising deals, which carried the industry to new records last quarter. The biggest deals by amount raised in the second quarter so far have included Moonpay ($555 million), ConsenSys ($450 million) and Circle ($400 million), per Pitchbook.

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