LayerZero Labs raises $135M, valued at $1B
The blockchain technology business is Vancouver’s latest unicorn.
Four months after The Information reported that Vancouver’s LayerZero Labs was raising funding at $1 billion, the company has made the news official. The blockchain startup announced that it’s raised USD $135 million in a round co-led by venture heavyweights Sequoia Capital, FTX Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Coinbase Ventures, PayPal Ventures, Tiger Global and Uniswap Labs.
Why it matters: The funding round values LayerZero Labs at USD $1 billion, which puts it in Vancouver’s growing pack of unicorns (companies privately valued at more than $1 billion).
Details: The explosion of the crypto ecosystem over the last several years has resulted in greater demand for high-throughput applications, like gaming, NFT marketplaces and media apps on multiple blockchains. Yet the infrastructure to support this cross-chain world hasn’t kept up with the demands of the industry. The outcome has been users, data and liquidity fragmented across applications deployed on different chains. LayerZero is aiming to solve this problem by providing an omni- or multi-chain interoperability protocol that unites decentralized applications (dApps) across disparate blockchains.
Say what? LayerZero Labs CEO Bryan Pellegrino has recently described the problem his company is trying to solve like this: “DeFi applications have spread out and deployed across multiple chains due to high fees and evolving investors preferences. This has led to severe fragmentation across the market. You can currently trade on Sushi using Ethereum, Moonbeam, Fantom, xDAI and Binance Smart Chain, and more chains are coming. While all of these applications are Sushi, none alone is Sushi. LayerZero solves this problem by uniting liquidity across chains and making it possible to transact in, out and across disparate networks with ease.”
In other words, “LayerZero unlocks a future of blockchains without borders,” says Ryan Zarick, CTO and co-founder. “Users will interact with omnichain dApps that exist on multiple blockchains. These dApps will seamlessly communicate over LayerZero without the user even realizing it.”
The money talks: “By unlocking cross-chain composability, LayerZero is enabling developers to build decentralized applications that simply weren’t possible before,” notes Ali Yahya, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Bryan, Ryan, Caleb [Banister, principal engineer,] and the whole LayerZero team have thoroughly impressed us with their commitment to blockchain interoperability and the elegance of their protocol. We can’t wait to see the app innovation that springs from it.”
What’s next: With this latest raise and associated developments, the startup is getting closer to its vision of making crypto more accessible to end-users and accelerating the adoption of digital assets.
Go deeper in Forbes: Sequoia, FTX Ventures And A16z Lead $135 Million Investment In Crypto Firm Breaking Down Barriers Between Blockchains
Medium: The Omnichain Future is Here
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