• COO Raj Gokal said the company plans to reach 1 billion users through elements like decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens, entertainment, gaming, licensing and more
  • Solana’s current capacity supports around 50,000 transactions per second, compared to Ethereum’s current capacity which is about 15 transactions per second

Cryptocurrency startup Solana Labs announced it has raised over $314 million of new funding in a private token sale led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, the company said in a statement on June 9. 

The sale was completed in Q2 of this year and there are no talks of upcoming funding rounds, a spokesperson from Solana said in an email to Blockworks on June 9. The sale was only made available to off-shore investors.

With the new resources, Solana Labs will hire engineers and other support staff to accommodate the explosive growth of Solana’s developer ecosystem, the spokesperson added.

The funding round will also be used to accelerate the deployment of market-ready applications focused on onboarding the next billion users into crypto

“Solana is build-ready today,” Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana Labs co-founder and CEO, said in the press release. “The next phase is onboarding a billion users. Solana was built from the ground up to accommodate this scale. With this funding, Solana Labs is now positioned to bring in the right partners and capital to build products and tooling to get there.”

Solana is a web-scale blockchain that was founded in 2017 and is seen as a competitor to Ethereum, the largest blockchain platform for decentralized projects and applications.

However, Solana is known to be faster and cheaper than Ethereum for completing transactions. Ethereum’s current capacity is a little over 15 transactions per second with an average fee per transaction of about $6, while Solana’s current capacity supports around 50,000 transactions per second and costs about $0.00001 per transaction. 

The money raised will also be used to launch an incubation studio to expedite the development of decentralized applications and platforms building on Solana, alongside a venture investing arm and trading desk dedicated to the Solana ecosystem, the company said in its statement.

No more middle men

“I think what you’ll see is like the disappearance of middle men, who take a few percentage points from everything you do, through stealing data or self advertisement,” Yakovenko told Blockworks during a phone call. “When you have a billion users who can self-customize building social networks, free platforms and content creator networks that don’t rely on ads anyone because content creators and friends can connect directly and I’m excited about that. I don’t want to (live) in a world where all my information is monetized and sold back to me.”

The sale raised was $314,159,265, which gave homage to the mathematical constant pi – just multiplied by a hefty $100 million. 

“For the whole space to move forward, we need talented developers and to attract them to this space. That’s the reason for [the sale being a symbol to] pi. It’s what attracts those types of people and it’s a signal to their spirit and culture,” said Raj Gokal, the COO of Solana Labs, in a call with Blockworks. “We’d love to see hundreds of developers in this space and hope to do that.” 

Funding backers

The funding was also backed by 1kx, Alameda Research, Blockchange Ventures, CMS Holdings, Coinfund, CoinShares, Collab Currency, Memetic Capital, Multicoin Capital, ParaFi Capital, Sino Global Capital, Jump Trading, and select individual investors like Boys Noize.

To date, Solana-powered DEXes, dApps and platforms such as Serum, Raydium, Bonfida, KIN, Audius, Mango Markets, Maps.me, Pyth Network, Phantom wallet, USDC and more have processed more than 19 billion on-chain transactions, it said. 

Gokal said the company plans to reach 1 billion users through elements like decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens, entertainment, gaming, licensing and more. 

“There’s so much that has already been validated in the crypto industry to show attraction with users but past that the holy grail has been payments,” Gokal said. “There’s everything, everything is a marketplace.”   

Ultimately, though, the dream of blockchain is possible today and it’s about building that product and getting users onboarded, Yakovenko said. “Everyone is ready to team up and build toward that goal together. It’s not just a Solana goal, it’s a crypto goal.”

  • Jacquelyn Melinek is a Houston-based reporter covering digital asset funds and markets. She previously reported on energy markets for S&P Global Platts and Bloomberg News and is published in over 65 news outlets. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism.