Venture Trotter Weekly Review: A Web3 social media platform let’s you trade tokenized shares of profiles

A new Web3 social media platform is enabling users to buy and trade shares (known in app as “Keys”) in each other. raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round that was led by Paradigm. The platform began inviting influencers with large Twitter followings in order to hit the ground running during its launch in early August 2023. Per Dune, early activity on has been massive, with over 2 million transactions and counting during the platforms first month. At one point, it’s 24-hour fee generation ranked third on DeFiLama, behind only Ethereum and Lido.

This project has been a major topic of discussion for the crypto community on X since its launch, but it has also been a subject of controversy over privacy concerns. The Block published a tweet here about a so-called “leaked database,” however that tweet has since been fact checked by X’s community notes, which asserts that the “leaked” info about content creators was already public.

By the way, Ruceto is jumping into the Web3 social media space with our upcoming deep dive analysis of CyberConnect. In that report, we discuss along with the rest of the Web3 social competitive landscape. Look out for that report this week!

A team of former bankers and credit investment professionals built infrastructure to connect institutional lenders and borrowers. Maple, an on-chain capital market, raised $5MM in a round led by Blocktower Capital and Tioga Capital. Maple was developed with an institutional focus, and it dubs itself as “the only on-chain marketplace focused exclusively on serving Institutional and Individual Accredited Investors with high-quality lending opportunities which suit their liquidity, risk and return requirements.” Because of their institutional focus, it partners with regulated service provides to provide KYC and AML checks on both lenders and borrowers as well as enterprise-tier custody and wallet solution.

Maple recently opened a lending pool that we designed specifically for DAO treasuries. Deposited funds go to a special-purpose vehicle that is only permitted to buy short term US Treasuries as collateral. If a borrower defaults, Maple will sell those T-bills and use the proceeds to repay the borrowers.

The native asset of Maple is MPL, which is used for governance and staking. The staking program was designed to distribute MPL bought on the open market to stakers, but its distributions are currently paused because, “revenues do not currently exceed operating expenses.”

A DeFi yield protocol aims to enable users to increase yield exposure in bull markets and hedge against yield downturns in bear markets. Pendle, which allows for the tokenization of yield, raised an undisclosed amount in an investment from Binance Labs. Per Binance Labs, Pendle is, “bringing the TradFi interest derivative market to DeFi.” A yield bearing token is broken up into its yield components, a principal token (PT) and a yield token (YT). Both the PT and YT can be traded on Pendle’s AMM. Per the company docs, advanced yield strategies that are made possible with this tokenization of components include: 1) Fixed yield (e.g. earn fixed yield on stETH); 2) Long yield (e.g. bet on stETH yield going up by purchasing more yield); 3) Earn more yield without additional risks (e.g. provide liquidity with your stETH).

List of VC Investments into Crypto Projects

The full list of the institutional investments that Ruceto tracked last week is below. Links to the target company website, investment announcement, and token info are provided via hyperlinks on the Target Name, $ Raised, and Token columns respectively.

Target Name $ Raised Lead Investors Description Token
Curb methane emissions at landfills to power Bitcoin mining data
Blocktower Capital, Tioga Capital
Per company docs: "Founded in 2019 and led by a team of former bankers and credit investment professionals aiming to improve upon legacy capital markets, Maple is an institutional capital network that provides the infrastructure for credit experts to run on-chain lending businesses and connects institutional lenders and borrowers."
Web3 engagement platform that aims to boost user retention
Bogazici Ventures
Web3 and Web2 mobile gaming studio
Building a market where the shares, or "Keys," of other users can be traded or used to enter private chat rooms
Content-creator specific
Binance Labs
Defi project that enables the split and tokenization of yield-bearing assets into separate yield and principal components
Binance Labs
Infrastructure company that built an open source zero-knowledge WebAssembly virtual machine
Moonbox - Strategic
Will launch a series of generative AI-powered NFTs and applications inspired by the classic films of Stephen Chow
CMT Digital
Crypto accounting software
Mina Foundation, Jump Crypto, Big Brain Holdings, O(1) Labs
zkKYC enabled Dex built on the Mina Protocol
Will likely use Mina tokens
Mexc Ventures
DEX built on MPC wallet, and cross-chain liquidity aggregation protocol

What is Going on at Ruceto?

We just published our free deep dive report on ChainML here. We enjoyed speaking to ChainML’s management team about how they intend to use Web3 technology to democratize AI, and to help accelerate adoption of AI across industries.

This week we will publish our deep dive investor report on CyberConnect. Also, we are working on a major upcoming report on XRP that you won’t want to miss!

Disclaimer: The content presented is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, tax, legal, or professional advice. Nothing contained in this report is a direct or indirect recommendation or suggestion to buy, sell, make, or hold any investment, loan, commodity, security, or token, or to undertake any investment or trading strategy with respect to any investment, loan, commodity, security, token, or any issuer. Ruceto does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, sequence, or timeliness of any of this content. Please see our Terms of Service for more information.

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