Tech giant Microsoft Corp co-led a $450 million funding of New York-based start-up ConsenSys. The financial round was backed by ParaFi Capital, Temasek Holdings, and SoftBank Group Corp which doubled ConsenSys’s valuation to $7 billion.
ConsenSys was founded in 2014 by Joseph Lubin, a co-founder of Ethereum, the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency. The firm’s most popular products include the MetaMask digital asset wallet and Infura, a suite of tools that helps developers build Ethereum apps.
The recent capital injections highlight the firm’s positive outlook by investors who see the former as one of the companies that will power Web3. It has also managed to secure funds into areas such as decentralized finance, or DeFi, and nonfungible tokens, NFTs.
Besides that, ConsenSys said all the proceeds from its latest round would be converted into the ether. The funds will be utilized for recruiting additional 600 employees, an updated version of MetaMask that would be launched later this year, and expanding its NFT business.
That said, Microsoft’s involvement underscores the growing interest from the world’s largest tech firms in Web3. Last year, its venture fund M12 led a $27 million early-stage funding round in Palm NFT Studio, a start-up also co-founded by Lubin.
Microsoft ‘s Rendezvous With Crypto And Metaverse
The software firm began its first step by working towards integrating blockchain and cryptocurrencies in its business structure. The company last month announced a new job opening for a “Director of Business Development – Cryptocurrencies” on its career website. The role is integrated into its AI and Emerging Technologies business development team, which is the company’s spearhead division for emerging new technologies.
Next, Microsoft’s acquisition of $68.7 billion gaming giant Activision Blizzard made it clear that the tech firm’s ambition was not limited to video game domination. In fact, gaming is the crucial vehicle to help power Microsoft’s metaverse plans.
In a press release published in January, the firm wrote that buying the “Call of Duty” and “Warcraft” maker “will provide building blocks for the metaverse.” Later Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly said that gaming “will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”