With two weeks remaining in the first half of 2018, funds raised through the initial coin offerings of 440 startups have eclipsed $10 billion, according to CoinSchedule. So far, the top three performing sectors have been communications, finance, and trading/investing, which account for a combined 46% of the total funds raised.
Leading the pack and driving the communications sector was Telegram, whose two Gram token pre-sales raised $1.7 billion in private funds. Those pre-sales exceeded the startup’s original goal by nearly half, which resulted in Telegram opting to forego a public coin offering.
Telegram is one of 250 startups to have raised at least 50% of the funds they sought through ICO rounds this year. In addition to Telegram, 15 other startups have surpassed their fundraising goals.
Sitting just outside the top ten in terms of investment share is the energy and utility sector, whose token sales have brought in $175.5 million year-to-date. According to one Greentech Media report, energy blockchain startups raised $324 million between Q2 2017 and Q1 2018, with 57% of those funds going into the transactive energy space.
To put the $10 billion figure in context, in all of 2017 blockchain startups raised just $5.5 billion through ICOs, with another $900 million coming from venture capital. In March, TechCrunch reported that while venture capital funding rounds for blockchain and blockchain-adjacent startups still outnumbered ICOs by approximately 2 to 1, ICOs accounted for 78% of dollar volume, looking “less like seed rounds” and “more like late stage funding events.”