Morningstar Ventures: News & Portfolio Updates 💫
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📢 PORTFOLIO UPDATE: XDEFI

Our portfolio company XDEFI just pushed a number of new features including:

1) Cross-chain swaps (in testing): ability to swap a digital asset on one chain against another digital asset on another chain within the extension (without using a centralised venue);

2) Dark Mode (final testing): it should be available for Christmas;

3) Multiple Derivation Paths Support for Ledger + Terra (in testing): ability to migrate from one of the other Terra wallets to XDEFI Wallet regardless of which derivation path it supports;

4) Avalanche Integration (in progress): ability for Avalanche users to fully migrate to XDEFI Wallet;

5) NFT Support for Terra (completed): ability to display and manage NFTs within the wallet and more: https://bit.ly/3d9uTOw


➡️ Try and Download the XDEFI Wallet for free: https://bit.ly/3IaPxfr
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

Ignite Tournaments Confirms $3 Million Seed Round

Mobile play-to-earn tournament infrastructure provider Ignite Tournament has finalized a successful seed round co-led by Yield Guild Games and Ascensive Assets. The fundraising has raised $3M in total and has seen contributions from a large pool of investors. Among them Arca, Mechanism Capital, SkyVision Capital, Eden Holdings, D1 Ventures, Morningstar Ventures, Genblock Capital, Moonboots Capital, and Ghaf Capital.

Given the natural evolution in the blockchain gaming space, Ignite Tournament has developed the world’s first esports tournament organization and streaming app for mobile. The new infrastructure will support mobile games lacking tournament functionality and improve gamers’ rewarding systems.

➡️ Read the full announcement here: https://bit.ly/3GnoJHj
➡️ Learn more about Ignite: https://www.ignitetournaments.com/
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

BAYZ closes $4M Seed Round led by Yield Guild

Blockchain gaming startup BAYZ has secured $4M in its latest seed funding round led by Yield Guild Games. Other participating investors: Delphi Digital, BITKRAFT, Fabrick Ventures, Valor Capital, Firex Capital, Ascensive Assets, Morningstar Ventures, Arca, Parafi Capital, Infinity Ventures, and many other; as well as angel investors Sebastien Borget (The Sandbox), Aleksander Larsen, and Jeff Zirlin (Axie Infinity), Nickev (RumbleKongs and reNFTLabs).

Starting with Brazil, BAYZ’s goal is to bring play-to-earn gaming to more people globally by eliminating gamers’ entry barriers. Specifically, the recent funds will be used to partner up with leading blockchain-gaming developers, hire top talent, and grow content and infrastructure needed to help people onboarding into the metaverse.

➡️ Read the full announcement: https://bit.ly/3DI6PNt
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

YGG SEA Reaches $15M in Fundraising
to Open the Metaverse to Southeast

YGG SEA - Yield Guild Games Southeast Asia - has recently reached $15M across a successful Seed and private round. Among investors participating in the capital raising were Crypto.com Capital, Animoca Brands, MindWorks Ventures, Poloniex, Jump Capital, BRI Ventures, Yolo Ventures, Circle, Digital Currency Group, Hashed, Polygon, Bukalapak, Morningstar Ventures, Arca Funds, Evernew Capital, OKEx Blockdream Ventures, SevenX Ventures, LongHash Ventures, and many others.

Following the boom of play-to-earn adoption in the Philippines, where players have been able to increase their earnings by playing the Axie Infinity game, Yield Guild Games is now expanding in the region via YGG SEA subDAO. Specifically, the project will focus on pushing play-to-earn gaming adoption in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand.

➡️ Follow YGG SEA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yggsea
➡️ Join the YGG SEA Community: discord.gg/RNmbBb
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

P2E Racing Game Nitro League Secures $5M from Leading Investors

Play to Earn game Nitro League has recently secured $5M during its recent private funding round.
Several prominent crypto and blockchain investors participated in the fundraising, such as YGG Southeast Asia, Morningstar Ventures, SL2 Capital, Axia8 Ventures, YGG Global, Double Peak, LD Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto, NGC Ventures, Woodstock, and many others.

Developed by software company Hotwire Studios, Nitro League is a sophisticated strategy game where players can compete in racing challenges, form guilds of street racers, earn $NITRO tokens, and trade rare NFTs. On December 13, the project launched a $NITRO IDO on Polkastarter, followed by another one on Copper Launch on December 14.

➡️ Learn more about Nitro League: https://nitroleague.com/
➡️ Read the full announcement
: https://bit.ly/3DWNc4p
📢 PORTFOLIO UPDATE

Kattana Beta Version is Now Live

Today, the Kattana team has announced the launch of the Beta version.

The cross-chain trading platform will support DeFi traders with tools and software before being available for CEX only. It is exciting to observe how the gap between CEX and DEX is reducing thanks to a project like Kattana, which has built new infrastructure to develop an accurate terminal to trade on multiple blockchains.

➡️ Read the announcement: https://bit.ly/3J7QCoG
➡️ Try the Kattana Beta Version: https://kattana.io/
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

Next week we will reveal the first project supported by our Elrond Dubai Incubator, the program we have kicked off 3 months ago with the idea to support teams building on top of the Elrond technology.

We are so happy to have found a recognized team with the right properties, relevant geographical fit, and of course the needed ambition that fits our program. This is one of our most important collaborations, and we can't wait to disclose more next week. Stay tuned and follow our updates on Twitter.

➡️ Read the full announcement: bit.ly/34pNAMZ
INDUSTRY NEWS

Yield Guild Games Organizes $1.4M Donation for Typhoon Victims

On Dec. 16, 2021, the Philippines reported a super typhoon that left more than 300 cities in a state of calamity, including 4M individuals displaced or injured, 407 dead, and 88 still missing.

The day after the catastrophic event, play-to-earn Yield Guild Games decided to launch a direct cash assistance program for affected households. Gamers’ response was so great that the company raised over $1.4M in community donation in only three weeks.

Luis Buenaventura - YGG Philippines Country Manager - stated that the program has already reached 1,600 households, with resources to cover an additional 3,000. Although estimations suggest that the typhoon destroyed over 55,000 homes, this is a great start and success for the Blockchain gaming community.

➡️ Read the full announcement: https://bit.ly/3HGtVXm
💎 ELROND ECOSYSTEM UPDATES

The Maiar DeFi Wallet Is Officially Live

The Elrond Team has recently announced the launch of the Maiar DeFi Wallet, which is now live and ready to be installed on Chrome, Brave, and other browsers.

Designed with compelling features, speed, and great usability, it can be used to:
- Manage multiple different wallets on the Elrond mainnet;
- Send & receive $EGLD and tokens, and view recent transactions;
- Visualize account balances;
- Manage NFT collections.

➡️ Download it here: https://bit.ly/3HJdlpD
➡️ Read the full announcement: https://bit.ly/3n6qqS6
Exotic Markets Confirms $5M in Private Round

Solana-base DeFi platform Exotic Markets has recently confirmed a successful $5M private round led by Multicoin and Ascensive Assets. Among other investors, we find well-known VC firms Alameda Research, Animoca Brands, LedgerPrime, FMFW.io, MGNR, Morningstar Ventures, Solana Capital, SkyVision Capital, and Paradigm.co.

Exotic Markets will take advantage of the Solana blockchain's high throughput and low fees. It will contribute to pushing the healthy innovation and growth of the DeFi space, creating new opportunities to generate yields in stablecoins instead of governance tokens. The project's primary focus will be to democratize yield for all investors.

➡️ Read the full announcement:https://bit.ly/331YnfG
➡️ Learn more about Exotic Markets: https://exotic.markets/
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

Today we come to you with our biggest announcement so far!

Introducing 'Itheum' - the first project supported by our Elrond Dubai Incubator!

We are glad to have led Itheum's $1.5M seed round, which will support the team to build the world’s first “Open Metaverse” data platform aiming to transform personal data into tradable assets.

We are very happy to open this new chapter of our business; this partnership represents a crucial moment for our team and our Elrond Dubai Incubator, specifically given that the UAE and the Middle East provide a very strategic setting for Itheum’s growth pass.

More news on our plans with Itheum will be released in the coming weeks.

➡️ Read the full announcement: https://bit.ly/3zMuJHc
➡️ Learn more about Itheum: https://www.itheum.io/
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

GameFi NFT Marketplace Lootex Lands $9M Funding Round


Lootex has recently secured $9M in a successful funding round that has attracted several leading venture capital firms. Among them Spartan Capital, Infinity Ventures Crypto, LD Capital, and Akatsuki leading the round, with participation also arriving from Polygon Studio, HTC, Huobi Ventures, and Morningstar Ventures.

The Taiwan-based asset marketplace already features over 12,000 NFTs across 500 collections, and it plans to use the raised funds to further develop its blockchain metaverse marketplace. Some investors participated in the session because they believe Lootex will help the growth of blockchain economies. In this regard, Lootex CEO Justine Lu, said: “Our mission is to liberate game asset ownership and connect blockchain games to traditional players. By providing a game-oriented NFT marketplace, players are able to trade and discover the value of their hard work and accomplishments.”

➡️ Read the full announcement: https://bit.ly/3JYueyJ
➡️ Learn more about Lootex: https://lootex.io/
📢 PORTFOLIO UPDATE

Itheum Launching Ambassador Program - Wave 2

Following the strong success of the recent Ambassador Program - ended early this week - the Itheum Team announced to reopen the initiative: round two will officially open this Saturday, Jan. 15 (12:00 am - UTC time) until Monday, Jan. 17 (12:00 - am UTC time).

The Ambassador Program - Wave 2 is a great opportunity to be involved in the Itheum project and the growth of its community. In order to participate, you need to register using the following form - Data Warrior Application.
Once completed, the program will be divided into 3 parts:

1) Quiz - use this link;
2) Warrior quest - a set of tasks following the quiz completion;
3) Enlisting into the data Warrior Program.


The chosen “Data Warriors” will be divided into 2 separated groups:
- Data Evangelist - in charge of social tasks
- Data Creator - responsible for creating content


If you have any questions or want to know more about the Itheum's Ambassador Program, please use the links below:

Read the full announcement ➡️ https://bit.ly/3qrpw4I
Warrior Ambassador Program ➡️ https://bit.ly/3zYyDwK
INDUSTRY NEWS

FTX Launches $2 Billion Venture Unit

FTX exchange has recently announced the launch of FTX Ventures, a new venture capital aiming to push blockchain and web3 adoption globally, and focusing on social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare markets.

FTX also revealed to have set aside $2B funds for the venture capital and hired Amy Wua - a former partner at Lightspeed - to lead it. In a recent interview, Wu stated: "It's not necessarily tied to the strategy of FTX. The objective is more to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology."

Read the full announcement ➡️ https://bit.ly/3qqQxoR
📢 PORTFOLIO UPDATE

Bware Labs Completes Integration with Elrond


Bware Labs has recently confirmed the integration with the Elrond network to enable developers to request Elrond data via its API service. This is an important step for the Bware Team, which works on accelerating DeFi growth by democratizing access to blockchain nodes. Specifically, the project provides a platform and protocol service operating as an interface between Blockchain APIs consumers and node providers, that includes integrated payment options and verified reliability.

Read the full announcement: ➡️ https://bit.ly/3I8WfBH
Learn more about Bware Labs:
➡️ https://app.bwarelabs.com/
💫 NEW INVESTMENT

'Move-to-Earn' App STEPN Raised
$5M in Seed Round

The world's first move2earn running app STEPN has recently raised $5M in a seed round backed by Sequoia, Folius Ventures, Solana Capital, Alameda Research, Morningstar Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, DeFi Alliance, Spark Digital Capital, and many others.

The Solana-based app offers a marketplace to buy sneaker NFTs to earn tokens by walking, running, and jogging. The project's primary goal is to promote healthier lifestyles by rewarding its users for exercising and achieving their fitness goals. Since the launch of its public Beta version in December 2021, STEPN has ranked top 3 NFT market-cap in the gaming category and attracted more than 2,000 users in a month.

➡️ Read the full announcement: https://bit.ly/33BCy78
➡️ Learn more about STEPN & download the App-: https://stepn.com/
📢 PORTFOLIO UPDATE

NGRAVE Wallet Closed $6M Seed Round


Self-custody crypto wallet provider NGRAVE has announced to have completed a successful $6M seed round. The session attracted several major DeFi and Web3 investors such as Woodstock Fund, Morningstar Ventures, DFG Group, Spark Digital Capital, Moonrock Capital, and Mapleblock Capital.

The growing crypto adoption in 2021 has underlined the importance of crypto storage solutions. In this context, the Belgium-based company has developed the “Coldest” Crypto hardware wallet, a device that has achieved the EAL7 security certification and is safer than any bank-or crypto custody solution.

Ruben Merre, NGRAVE CEO and Co-Founder states that the funding round represents the opportunity to push NGRAVE's growth further and: "…with the backing of several strategic investors, we are confident that 2022 will be a breakthrough year for NGRAVE."

➡️ Read the full announcement: https://bit.ly/3Ajuow1
➡️ Learn more about NGRAVE: https://www.ngrave.io/