- This funding round comes just seven months after the layer-2 developer protocol raised $75 million in a Series B round
- “The more that blockchain technology is available, to everyone from a lone farmer in the developing world to a businessperson in New York, the more we’ll discover its transformative potential,” Eli Ben-Sasson said to Blockworks
Ethereum-based Starkware has raised $50 million in a Series C round led by Sequoia Capital, bringing its valuation to $2 billion.
This funding round comes just seven months after the layer-2 developer protocol raised $75 million in a Series B round. Existing investors also participated in the round, including Paradigm, Alameda Research, Three Arrows Capital and Founders Fund.
Starkware is a four-year-old startup, created by four co-founders Eli Ben-Sasson, Alessandro Chiesa, Uri Kolodny, and Michael Riabzev, that offers services for blockchains to scale through ‘STARK’ proofs, which are Ethereum-based products using rollups technology that were invented by Ben-Sasson and Riabzev.
“The truth is, we didn’t need the money. Our StarkEx scaling engine is profitable and is thriving, powering such crypto success stories as dYdX and Sorare. You get a sense of the size of the operation when you consider that we’re minting all the NFTs for the new Immutable X NFT platform,” said Kolodny in an interview with Blockworks.
“But the funds help us to grow our operation even more quickly than we have until now and enable us to give the best mainnet launch imaginable to our new platform StarkNet. This will be fully deployed on mainnet in the coming weeks, and it will be a game-changer, starting a building boom on blockchain,” Kolodny added.
The Stark-based solutions include its two products StarkEx, a permissioned validity-rollup, and StarkNet, a permissionless decentralized ZK-rollup, which aim to increase speed and reduce the cost of Ethereum gas fees.
“The more that blockchain technology is available, to everyone from a lone farmer in the developing world to a businessperson in New York, the more we’ll discover its transformative potential,” Ben-Sasson said to Blockworks. “And the more we advance our scaling technology and make it more efficient, the lower the carbon footprint of each blockchain transaction will become. Given that blockchain use will inevitably rise, this is important for future generations,” Ben-Sasson added.
Prior to this funding, Starkware’s technology was only available to clients through its scaling Engine StarkEx. But the new capital raised will support the deployment of its StarkNet layer-2 platform, which will allow anyone to build blockchain applications with its technology, the company said.
“Via StarkNet, it will open up a brave new world where all the dApps that people have dreamed about but which weren’t viable because of high gas fees will start to be built,” Ben-Sasson said.
“Our plans for the future focus on scaling more, and more efficiently, and really seeing our technology making a difference. We want to see it helping companies to succeed, also helping the general public and the environment,” Ben-Sasson added.
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