Crypto Funding Hits Three-Year Low in Q3 2023, According to Messari Report
Despite many cryptocurrencies experiencing a surge compared to the end of last year, the overall market is still not far off its all-time highs. As a result, fundraising in the third quarter of 2023 has dropped to its lowest level in three years.
According to blockchain intelligence company Messari, the total amount raised by crypto companies during this period amounted to just under $2.1 billion across 297 deals. This is the lowest value since the fourth quarter of 2020 and represents a 36% decrease compared to the previous quarter.
In its “State of Crypto Fundraising” report, Messari pointed out that initial funding (seed and Series A) accounted for $488 million of the total raised.
“There has been a significant shift from later-stage projects to early-stage projects in the past three years,” said Messari.
Early-stage cryptocurrency deals increased their share from 37% in Q4 2020 to 48% in Q3 2023. Meanwhile, later-stage deals decreased from 8% to 1.4% during the same period. This strategic positioning in a bearish market was highlighted by Messari.
Distribution of Funding
Regarding the distribution of funding in the third quarter, Messari noted that it followed a similar pattern seen in the past 12 months.
Blockchain infrastructure, DeFi, and cryptocurrency gaming have consistently been the most well-funded sectors during this period. The services sector (marketing, incubators, security, and legal services), for example, was the only other sector with over $100 million in funding in the past 12 months.
In terms of the third-quarter funding, it was relatively evenly distributed among sectors, with blockchain infrastructure representing the largest share at 18%.
Meanwhile, the DeFi sector led in terms of the number of funded deals with 67. DeFi projects raised a total of $210 million, with an average deal size of $3 million. Binance Labs was an active investor in the DeFi sector with seven deals during the quarter.
Lastly, the cryptocurrency gaming sector had another strong quarter, with nearly $250 million invested in 33 deals. The largest deal in the gaming sector was a $54 million Series A agreement for Futuroverso, a platform that combines the worlds of AI and metaverse.
Infrastructure and Scaling Networks
The infrastructure sector accounted for the majority of funding during the third quarter, despite only recording 21 deals.
Furthermore, scaling solutions accounted for 43% of the capital raised by the sector. This represents a continuous shift from smart contract platforms to scalability solutions, according to Messari.
Finally, Messari pointed out that 54% of active cryptocurrency investors in the third quarter were based in the United States. This percentage is in line with the quarterly average over the past four years (55%).
“Despite project founders slowly leaving the United States in favor of more regulated jurisdictions, the US still remains home to the majority of accredited crypto investors,” concluded Messari.