Welcome back to Chain Reaction.
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This week I’ve been in San Francisco for TechCrunch Disrupt 2023. It's been a three-day journey jam-packed with panels, booths and conversations around tech, AI, space, security and, of course, crypto. You can check out all the news coverage here.
During the event, 20 startups pitched their companies live as part of TechCrunch Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2023. These companies were selected as the best of the Startup Battlefield 200 and competed for a chance to take home the Startup Battlefield Cup and $100,000. Here are the six finalists.
As for me, I moderated four onstage panels, including two separate fireside chats with major VC players like a16z’s Arianna Simpson and Haun Ventures’ Chris Lehane. (Details on that below.)
And don’t worry, we’ll be rolling out more crypto coverage from the conference -- including a story on the blockchain-focused panel I moderated with Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder and CEO of Solana Labs; Grace Torrellas, VP of product and product lead at Polygon zkEVM; and Mo Shaikh, co-founder and CEO of Aptos Labs.
Anyways, let’s get into it.
Crypto at Disrupt 2023
This week in web3
The latest pod
Prior to joining the firm, Chris was an executive at Airbnb. He also co-founded a strategic consultancy firm, Fabiani & Lehane, that advised political, corporate, technology, entertainment and professional sports clients. In the 1990s, Chris held various government roles like press secretary to Vice President Al Gore and was special assistant counsel to President Bill Clinton.
After a number of decades working across different industries, Chris landed in the world of crypto at Haun Ventures, a web3-focused venture capital firm that has two investment vehicles: a $500 million early-stage fund and a $1 billion acceleration fund. Aside from Haun, he is also a member of Coinbase's Global Advisory Council.
We discussed Haun’s investment strategy amid U.S. and global regulatory challenges, how the firm advises portfolio companies to navigate the ever-changing environment and whether Chris find’s the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulation tactics productive, among other things.
Follow the money
Mesh, which helps people manage their digital assets, raised $22 million
Former Farmville co-creator raised $33 million for its blockchain gaming startup Proof of Play
Lens Protocol-based app Orb raised $2.3 million to grow web3 social
Crypto analytics platform CoinScan emerges from stealth with $6.3 million raise
Decentralized market protocol Freatic raises $3.6 million in round led by a16z
This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.
What else we’re writing
Want to branch out from the world of web3? Here are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.
Follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.