StarkWare, an Ethereum Layer 2 developer utilizing ZK-rollups expertise, has raised $50 million in a Sequence C funding spherical and is now valued at $2 billion.
Sharing the information solely with The Block on Tuesday, Israel-based StarkWare stated the spherical was led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from current traders, together with Paradigm, Three Arrows Capital, Alameda Analysis, and Founders Fund.
This was an “opportunistic” fundraise, StarkWare co-founder and CEO Uri Kolodny advised The Block in an interview, which means that the corporate is already worthwhile however secured new funds to develop its staff and ecosystem as quick as potential.
StarkWare is one of some blockchain startups which have constructed Ethereum scaling merchandise utilizing rollups expertise.
There are primarily two varieties of rollups — ZK-rollups and Optimistic rollups — that permit executing Ethereum transactions off-chain and storing solely transaction information on-chain, thereby decreasing the community congestion, rising its velocity, and decreasing fuel charges.
StarkWare makes use of ZK-rollups for its scaling expertise. Versus Optimistic rollups, ZK-rollups generate zero-knowledge proofs for validating transactions.
StarkEx and StarkNet
StarkWare’s Ethereum scaling engine StarkEx is utilized by a number of crypto initiatives, together with dYdX, Sorare, and Immutable. Kolodny stated StarkEx has settled over $200 billion value of trades, facilitating about 50 million transactions and serving a whole lot of 1000’s of customers at “dramatically cheaper” fuel prices.
StarkWare is now set to launch StarkNet Alpha on mainnet Ethereum by the top of this month, stated Kolodny. The important thing distinction between StarkEx and StarkNet is that the previous is a permissioned tailored scaling engine, whereas the latter is a permissionless decentralized ZK-Rollup that helps unbiased deployment of sensible contracts. Which means with StarkNet, any developer can write and deploy their sensible contracts permissionlessly.
StarkWare hopes to deliver “crypto apps for all” with StarkNet. StarkWare’s different co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson stated within the interview that StarkNet will assist make blockchain expertise “usable by a a lot wider inhabitants.”
A number of initiatives have dedicated to constructing on StarkNet, together with MakerDAO, Aave, and Argent, stated Kolodny.
When requested whether or not Uniswap is trying to accomplice with StarkWare, Ben-Sasson stated, “we’re very hopeful that Uniswap will be part of us, however that is as much as their governance course of to do this.” Uniswap presently makes use of Ethereum Layer 2 scaling options from Optimism and Arbitrum that use optimistic rollups.
StarkWare’s Sequence C spherical comes simply seven months after its $75 million Sequence B spherical in March. The agency didn’t share its valuation then, however Kolodny stated all rounds to this point have been fairness rounds.
He declined to remark when requested if StarkWare is trying to launch its personal token.
The Sequence C spherical brings StarkWare’s whole funding to this point to $162 million. Kolodny stated the agency might increase extra funds within the close to future if alternatives come up.
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