5 areas where US seed funding will be strong in 2022

In a typical month, a few hundred US companies reveal large seed funding rounds. And every few chapters, Crunchbase News has made it a habit to look at those rounds to see what trends we can glean.

This time around, we looked at nearly 1,000 US initial and pre-incorporation rounds worth $500,000 and above announced in 2022. As usual, the funded companies covered a very wide range of businesses, from virtual world fashion to the horns It can grow plants in space.

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However, even amid all this abundant diversity, some popular investing themes have emerged. Take a look at five of them below:

1. Metaverse

People who invest in future visions seem to think that we will spend more time and money in virtual worlds. In particular, they are placing some big bets on companies that describe themselves as focused on the metaverse.

We have identified at least nine self-described metaverse companies that have collected good-sized seed rounds so far this year. largest recipient of funding space runner, a developer of the fashion metaverse with an early focus on athletic footwear. The company raised $10 million in an initial March round.

Other funded startups include Cybera galleries developer for digital collections that have raised $6.7 million, and Woman world, a virtual worlds product featuring what it describes as “artificial intelligence-powered virtual beings” that closed in on $4 million. See the full list of metaverse startups funded from early 2022 below:

2. NFTs

NFT-related headlines have been filled with bad news lately. lightness, The Wall Street Journal recently published Piece With the opening line: The NFT market is collapsing.

The numbers certainly look disappointing. Sales volumes a few weeks ago were reportedly down 92% from their September peak. And previous evaluations do not hold up. NFT for the first tweet from Twitter‘s Jack DorseyFor example, gold For sale by auction This year it has received no bids above $14,000, despite the sale for $2.9 million in March 2021.

However, seed investors did not end their love affair with all things non-fungible tokens. “NFT” is one of the most popular descriptive terms for startups funded from the start in 2022, with at least 26 of them pulled in rounds of $500 million and above.

Largest recipient of funding –Yoga Labscreator boredom monkey yacht club NFT group — raked in a Huge 450 million dollars. While the company and funding round may seem too large to classify as a seed, Yoga is actually a very small company, founded last year.

Other large funding recipients include cryptoslamwhich is an aggregate of $9 million collected NFT data, and quotasMathematical prediction game for NFTs that raised $5.3 million. See the full list of NFT startups funded from scratch 1less:

3. Brain and neurotechnology

A lot of startups seem to think we can do a better job at keeping our brains healthy, functional, and high performing. Still others are exploring neurostimulation, next-generation wearables and supplements to enhance our cranial activities.

Regardless of their particular focus, seed-stage startups focused on brain fitness, therapy, and motivation seem to be attracting a lot of interest from seed investors so far this year.

According to Crunchbase data, the largest seed recipient for 2022 was along these lines inner universe, developer of brain computer interfaces in Northern California for the treatment of depression. The company, which says it is developing a penny-sized device that can go under the skin and rebalance brain networks using “micro-imperceptible stimulation,” has raised $10 million in Mars funding.

Another big round of 8.1 million dollars went to Welfare, maker of nutritional supplements to improve brain performance. And the earThe company that develops wearables for sleep health that uses neurostimulation raised $6.6 million in a seed round in January. For a more complete list of 2022 seed rounds related to the brain, see below:

4. Protein Substitute

Alternative protein has been a popular area of ​​seed funding for several years now, and it still ranks high in the rankings.

One of the biggest rounds, about $12 million, went to a 3-year-old company, change foods, which is relatively mature by seed standards. The startup uses microbes and micro-fermentation to produce cheese that melts and melts like the real thing.

Another interesting company in the vegetarian meat sector is black sheep foodthat sells a vegan alternative to pregnancy. In the field of crop sciences, noiser Raised $4.5 million for high-protein chickpeas.

See a full list of companies funded in the alternative protein space below:

5. Fitness

Whether we’re a shape-shifting fries or competitive athletes, most of us can take advantage of training and fitness tools to help with our game.

Fortunately, a large number of incorporation-funded companies aim to do just that. Offers range from AI-powered personal training to customized home workouts to underwater entertainment.

Altisa personal AI trainer, earned $10 million in two base rounds this year, per Crunchbase data. ZiggoMeanwhile, it has raised $4.5 million for headphones that swimmers can wear to listen to music and audio content while swimming. kabatamaker of “smart dumbbells” for weight training, raised $2 million.

See the full list of funded fitness startups below:

So where is our future heading?

Looking at seed funding in aggregate gives us a little sense of where forward-thinking investors think we’re headed.

If we read recent trends, we might come up with a take like this: In the future, we’ll spend more time in more elaborate virtual worlds, where companies will find more elaborate ways to invest our time and attention.

Meanwhile, back in the physical world, we will try to keep our terrestrial bodies in a more adequate state by relying more on digital technology – somewhat ironic, given that digital technology itself also keeps us on the couch.

We will be able to maintain a delicious, high-protein diet less dependent on animal farming. And our brains will still be in a better working condition with the help of nutritional supplements and nerve stimulation.

In general, this is not the most terrifying vision. However, the overall picture is that humanity will move away from the basic life skills of our cave-dwelling, hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Of course, we’ve come a long way from that already. Today, the battery of basic life skills for many of us — think electronic filing taxes, cooking frozen meals in the microwave, paying the electric bill — our distant ancestors wouldn’t be able to recognize. Inevitably, we can expect that a few generations from now, our way of life will seem rather primitive.

Clarification: Dom Guzman

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