This cryptocurrency bull run looks very different from the last one. In 2017 and 2018, would-be entrepreneurs raked in funding by promising the earth to newcomer investors, who often received very little in return.

In contrast, blockchain development in 2021 is proving itself to be a far more professionalized ecosystem. Projects are turning to seasoned backers, offering a more sustainable chance of success.

For their part, VC firms and private investors alike are seeking out prime opportunities to get in on the ground of the rapidly expanding vision for Web 3.0. Here is a selection of recent funding rounds making headlines in the crypto world.

Formation Finance

Yield farming, the practice of pooling cryptocurrencies into decentralized exchanges or lending protocols, is one of the factors that’s fueled the meteoric growth of DeFi over the last year or so. However, it can be a risky and time-consuming business, requiring users to find the pools with optimal risk/return profiles.

Formation Finance has taken a leaf out of the hedge funds book to develop a decentralized risk parity portfolio allocation strategy but managed by an algorithm. It farms tokens from multiple pools while providing the user with a simple means of tracking yield via an index token minted when they deposit funds.

Formation Finance recently closed a successful seed funding round, in which it raised $3.3 million. Investors included Bancor, Huobi, Polygon, Spark Capital, and AU21, among others.

MetisDAO

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are gaining significant traction, particularly in DeFi. However, for newcomers, as much as they may believe in the principles of a DAO, there are still huge barriers to anyone wanting to set up and run their company using decentralized governance.

Metis DAO is a layer 2 for the Ethereum platform that aims to make it easy for anyone to establish and run a DAO. Potential collaborators can join a project’s development by staking tokens. It uses a principle called “optimistic governance,” which assumes that collaborators will cooperate for the good of a project but operates a fallback dispute resolution process to resolve any issues that may arise.

Metis has now concluded a funding round for new and existing investors that successfully raised $4 million to develop its platform. It follows an initial financing round from earlier in 2021, which secured $1 million. The most recent round included participation from Block Dream Fund, DFG, Master Ventures, Parsiq, and many more.

Moma Protocol

The DeFi lending markets are currently dominated by protocols including Aave, Compound, and Cream. These protocols generally use some variation of governance to decide which tokens are supported in their lending pools. While it’s worked so far, the governance mechanism effectively limits who can open a lending pool on the apps, stifling liquidity and expansion of the DeFi lending markets.

Moma Protocol is an application that aims to solve scalability, liquidity, and speculation needs in the DeFi lending markets. It uses a proprietary smart contract stack to allow the creation, management, acceleration, and aggregation of lending markets.

The project has recently successfully concluded a seed round led by Coinbase investor Fundamental Labs and SevenX Ventures. AU21 Capital, Consensus Investment, Moonrock Capital, and many others also participated, raising a total of $2.25 million.

Shield Finance

Although DeFi is growing fast, there’s still a level of risk involved that can be off-putting to many investors. Along with high volatility, there have been numerous incidents as a result of poor smart contract security.

Things are improving, but the presence of DeFi insurance protocols is one factor helping give investors peace of mind. Shield Finance is a multi-chain DeFi insurance aggregator that operates across the Ethereum, Polkadot, Binance Smart Chain, and Solana ecosystems. It can be considered as the Skyscanner for DeFi insurance.

Shield Finance recently pulled in $780,000 from investors in a private funding round. Now, the project is planning to launch its $SHLD token to the public in an initial DEX offering via the Ignition Launchpad on Paid Network.

JigStack

The seemingly unstoppable bull run in cryptocurrency that started towards the end of 2020 is largely attributed to institutional investors. However, although the barriers to Bitcoin are well and truly breaking down, institutions are still hesitating when it comes to DeFi.

JigStack aims to turn this around with a suite of institutional-grade tools governed transparently by its decentralized autonomous organization. The keyword is standardization, which the project believes will provide much-needed stability and quality assurance for institutional investors.

The approach is evidently an attractive one for investors, as JigStack has recently secured $3 million in a series of private and public financing rounds. Moonwhale Ventures, DHC Capital, X21 Digital, and others participated in multiple sales of the project’s STAK token.

Jur

Billionaire VC Tim Draper was savvy enough to take an early punt on companies like Twitter and Skype. Now, his firm Draper Associates has just invested $1 million in seed funding to Jur , a virtual arbitration platform for commercial disputes.

Jur is taking aim at the US market for arbitration claims, worth $18 billion in 2020 , according to the American Arbitration Association. Billing itself as an “open justice platform” Jur is an online dispute resolution facility that manages the end-to-end arbitration process to speed up the arbitration process to around one to three months – up to ten times faster than the public courts.

The platform uses a blockchain-based algorithm to ensure a truly random selection of arbitrators. As a fully digital platform, it cuts legal costs, decreases downtime away from the office, and offers a built-in reputation scoring system.

DappList

DappList starts from a simple yet true premise – crypto is still a scary place for most novice investors and newcomers. It’s hard to find sources of truth, providing fertile stalking ground for hackers and shills.

DappList aims to overcome this challenge with a three-pronged approach. A decentralized version of the App Store powered by community governance, followed by a launchpad for developers to build a community. The third element is an invest module to connect the two groups. A token-based reputation system provides an assurance of quality to anyone using the platform.

The project has now closed a $1.9 million round, which attracted investment from CMS Holdings, LD Capital, Bitscale Capital, along with several well-known names in the blockchain community, such as Sandeep Nailwal, founder of Polygon (formerly Matic Network) and Gabby Dizon of Nifty Fund.

QANplatform

The quantum threat to blockchain isn’t one that’s discussed often enough, but it’s real enough. Most blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, rely on encrypted digital signatures to keep funds secure. However, the security is based on current computing standards. Quantum computers are exponentially more powerful, and could represent a threat to existing blockchain security standards.

QANplatform is ahead of the curve. It’s a blockchain platform with quantum resistance baked in, thanks to its use of a particularly secure algorithm based on lattice cryptography. It’s taking aim at the potentially lucrative enterprise markets with fixed transaction pricing, multi-language programming support, and the ability to redeploy smart contracts across multiple applications.

QANplatform has now announced it’s successfully secured $2.1 million from a round in which Fairum Ventures, DeltaHub Capital, Insignius Capital, and BlackDragon all participated. The news comes ahead of an upcoming Uniswap listing on May 21.