Venture Trotter Weekly Review: The financial super app that aims to bring 1 billion new users to Web3

A Web3 financial super app is competing directly with banks with the goal of mass adoption for crypto. Animoca Brands, developer and publisher of a broad portfolio of NFTs and blockchain games, announced that it will invest $30 million as part of a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership with hi. hi’s financial platform includes the following capabilities: 1) Trade 100+ crypto and fiat currencies; 2) Buy crypto with your credit card; 3) Spend at +90m merchants, with the hi Debit Mastercard; 4) Instantly send money to friends with no fees; 5) Earn yield in USDT and ETH in return for transferring your savings to hi (fiat earnings are coming soon). Animoca’s goal with the partnership is to integrate hi’s services with Animoca Brand’s ecosystem. In 2022, hi onboarded 3.5 million users, and 1 million KYC-ed users. hi will implement “Proof of Human Identity” (POHI) into its KYC process.

hi Protocol is a L2 sidechain for Ethereum, and its native token is HI. This protocol is currently in testnet. Per the company, “You can think of it as a membership token. Just by holding HI, you’ll get benefits. Be that a free digital subscription, best rates at 5* hotels around the world, or ‘interest boosters’ so you can earn up to 30% in APY.” Animoca Brands is making a big bet that they can help hi achieve mass adoption, so it’s worth monitoring hi’s Telegram for updates regarding it’s mainnet.


Aethir, a builder of decentralized real-time rendering infrastructure for gaming and AI, raised $9,000,000 in a Pre-Series A round valuing the company at $150 million. This project was started in Singapore in 2021 with the vision of making it possible for anybody to access and properly render Web3 gaming from any device. This would enable global accessibility to the Metaverse, regardless of a user’s hardware limitations.

We wrote multiple reports about DePINs building decentralized cloud infrastructure to bring computing resources to AI. Doing the same for gaming could also become a very compelling Web3 use case. Mobile gaming is a massive industry, and plenty of gamers who can’t afford high-end PCs and consoles want to experience AAA gaming. The Metaverse also threatens to leave large portions of the world behind if hardware remains a gating factor for participation. Cloud gaming already exists in Web2, but it often comes with high latency. If a DePIN is able to perform significantly better than Microsoft or Google, it could dramatically increase Web3 adoption.

There is no definitive news of token for Aethir yet, but many other similar DePINs have current or upcoming tokens, so a future token seems possible here.


A DePIN that Ruceto covered in a recent investor report is being used to power a Web3 project that connects people in easy to build, virtual environments. Passage, developer of a platform for 3D virtual worldbuilding, raised $6 million from a private token sale to Akash Network, an on-chain marketplace where computing resources from idle hardware are bought and sold. Ruceto wrote about Akash recently in Part 1 of our report about DePINs that are working to solve AI’s hardware problem. With Passage, users can create virtual 3D spaces for online events like virtual work calls, product launches, university lectures, webinars, and conferences. These 3D spaces can quickly be made by selecting assets from Passage’s marketplace, and then putting them together in the Passage World Builder. Through Passage’s partnership with Sortium, the World Builder is powered by AI to increase customization options. The purpose of using a 3D interactive world for an online event rather than existing tech like Zoom is to increase engagement.

The company announced that the public sale and launch of their token, PASG, take place August 29 on StreamSwap. PASG will be its own independent chain built with Cosmos SDK. Per Passage, “PASG, the native token of the Passage ecosystem, was designed to facilitate governance and decentralized 3D assets in Passage worlds.  It also incentivizes open-source development and creator contributions on the platform. The token is backed by a SaaS style revenue model with value going directly to supporting network security through incentivizing staking.”


A competitor to FileCoin is in testnet and has received 2 grants from the Ethereum Foundation. EthStorage, a storage L2 rollup built on top of Ethereum, raised $7 million from a Seed round valuing the company at $100 million. The company claims to increase the storage capacity of Ethereum from the terabyte level to the petabyte level at a cost per GB that is reduced by a factor of 10,000. By increasing storage capabilities and decreasing the cost to store data, EthStorage aims to enable a fully decentralized network.

There is no available token yet, but the Seed round was structured as a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT). Per the project’s Discord, a token is planned after mainnet, “probably next year.”


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
"Flashbots is a research and development organization formed to mitigate the negative externalities posed by Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) to stateful blockchains, starting with Ethereum."
Animoca Brands
A Web3 financial super app that includes a crypto exchange, debit card, and mobile banking app
Coinbase Ventures, Solana Ventures, CAA Connect Ventures, UTA Ventures, Shima Capital, Google Ventures, and more
Building the “human readable” blockchain explorer, with the end goal of making all of the world's blockchain data understandable for anyone
Sanctor Capital, Hashkey, Merit Circle and CitizenX
Decentralized cloud infrastructure providing compute for AI and gaming
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC)
Developer of an NFT-focused blockchain called Palette
L2 that provides dynamic storage based on Ethereum’s Data Availability
Akash Network
Developing an open virtual worldbuilding platform
Hashed Ventures
Web3 game developer
Sui Foundation, GBV Capital, Big Brain Holdings, Shima Capital, Arweave Foundation, Assembly Partners, DWeb3 Capital, Impossible Finance, Solar Eco Fund, MoveBit and more
A decentralized social graph where creators publish their content as a set of tradable NFTs

What’s happening at Ruceto

This week we will release our deep dive on Sei, an extremely fast L1 built specifically for trading. Sei project is currently in testnet, and our report will me a must-read prior to mainnet.

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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