Fintech
Q2 202409.05.2024

Crypto & DeFi

Picture of Éanna Kelly

Éanna Kelly

at Sifted

A new wave of enthusiasm is growing for a sector that experienced so many types of disaster over the years: scams, spectacular crashes and prison sentences among them.

A mini-reputational makeover is underway. New legislation in the US — and rules being worked up in Europe — are turning crypto into a more traditional investment vehicle. As institutional confidence in digital assets increases, we can see dealmaking, accordingly, on the rise: Sifted counts 76 deals so far in 2024.

Still, the sector’s not for everyone: the general haziness that hangs around crypto has made it difficult for companies to seize buying opportunities. Sifted recently reported on how France’s Ledger attempted to buy a few companies but pulled out after discovering many didn’t have full-time employees and instead hired fully-remote consultants. This lack of exit routes is not what VCs want to hear.

Regardless, we’re seeing traditional finance become more entangled with crypto and clearer rules of the road should make generalist VCs more comfortable to invest in the sector.

But as the crypto scene bubbles, rather than boils, there also remains a nagging question for the industry to address: can startups achieve something more profound than simply turning online interactions into transactions? This is something we’re all eagerly waiting to discover.

20 startups to watch

  • Deblock logo

    Sifted score

    8.66
    -

    Deblock

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2024

    • HQ

      Lille, France

    • Latest round

      Seed
      12m / Oct 2022

    • Total funding

      12m

  • Fiat Republic logo

    Sifted score

    8.18
    -

    Fiat Republic

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Year founded

      2021

    • HQ

      London, United Kingdom

    • Latest round

      Seed
      6.4m / Dec 2023

    • Total funding

      11.8m

  • Moralis logo

    Sifted score

    7.97
    -

    Moralis

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2021

    • HQ

      Sundbybergs kommun, Sweden

    • Latest round

      Series A
      36.4m / May 2022

    • Total funding

      47.9m

  • M^ZERO Labs logo

    Sifted score

    7.92
    -

    M^ZERO Labs

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Year founded

      2023

    • HQ

      Berlin, Germany

    • Latest round

      Seed
      20.4m / Apr 2023

    • Total funding

      20.4m

  • Dfns logo

    Sifted score

    7.49
    -

    Dfns

    Decentralized key management for blockchain.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Year founded

      2020

    • HQ

      Paris, France

    • Latest round

      Seed
      12.3m / Apr 2022

    • Total funding

      13.2m

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