Crypto funding: Zero-knowledge tools stole the show this week

As ZK proof development continues apace, two startups focused on creating tools for building with zero knowledge announced funding rounds

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Two projects focused on zero-knowledge — the cryptographic concept of proving a statement true without looking at its contents — announced funding rounds this week.

Variant and 1kx headlined a $6 million fundraise for Modulus, a startup using zero-knowledge to “bring AI on-chain.” Stanford University’s Blockchain Builders Fund also participated.

Modulus pitches itself as using zero-knowledge proofs to let AI developers check that their tools are working as intended without sacrificing decentralization. In a blog post announcing the fundraise, the company said a partnership with Worldcoin is in the works. 

Evolution Equity Partners led a $5 million funding round for Boston-based Toposware, a software development firm hoping to woo developers with its “zkEcosystem.”

Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal participated in the funding round and is listed as a member of Toposware’s advisory council alongside Meta’s director of infrastructure and the global general manager of IBM.

Read more: Polygon’s new zk-powered token is live on Ethereum mainnet

Other notable fundraises

  • Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands received $50 million from a fund owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to boost Saudi Web3 development 
  • The Ekubo Protocol automated market maker (AMM) is poised to raise $12 million from Uniswap’s DAO after an initial community token vote.
  • Tech investment giant a16z is reportedly aiming to raise $3.4 billion for its next round of venture funds. The firm plans new crypto investment vehicles in 2025. 
  • Base’s Surf derivatives exchange raised $3 million from ABCDE and others to support its creation of the “contracts based version of Uniswap.”

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