LayerZero Labs Inc., a cross-chain interoperability protocol startup, today announced it has raised $120 million in new funding at a $3 billion valuation.
The new Series B round triples LayerZero’s March 2022 valuation since its last funding round of $135 million. The round was joined by 33 investors including Andreessen Horowitz, BOND, Circle Ventures, Samsung Next, Sequoia Capital, OKX Ventures and the crypto arm. OpenSea Ventures. Christie’s auction house, known for selling high-value pieces of crypto artwork, has also joined the campaign.
LayerZero provides what is called a “messaging protocol” that allows decentralized applications to collaborate across multiple blockchains. Its protocol platform is designed to allow trustless and configurable messaging so developers can quickly build dapps that can run on different blockchains and still communicate.
Using LayerZero’s protocol, developers can build parts of their dapps to take advantage of different blockchains for specific parts of their applications. For example, a developer could use a very scalable blockchain with low fees and high transaction rates to store records of a fast-paced game in part of their application, and use a separate blockchain that runs slower with higher security to track bets or store games. things
“Imagine a future where a single user-facing application can leverage Solana’s speed, Ethereum’s security, and Arweave’s low-cost file storage, while being completely abstract to the user,” said Ryan Zarick, co-founder and CEO. Chief Technology Officer at LayerZero Labs. “Gone are the days of picking one chain to build on. the future is omnichain applications.”
LayerZero’s protocol addresses the problem where there are multiple blockchains in the cryptoecosystem, each of which tends to solve different problems, but cannot communicate with each other. This led to fragmentation, with developers choosing which blockchain they moved to and locking themselves into.
Other multithreaded interoperability projects are currently in development, but LayerZero claims they’re not up to the task. Examples include Polkadot, which is a centralized solution using a hub-and-spoke model, and Cosmos IBC, which uses lightweight hubs. The former may lose security, and the latter becomes more expensive due to Ethereum transaction fees.
The company launched in September 2021 with $6 million in funding. Since then, the LayerZero protocol has transferred more than 2 million messages between more than 30 chains, secured $7 billion in total locked value, and processed $6 billion in transaction volume. According to the company, the platform has deployed more than 300,000 contracts on its testnet and 3,500 on its mainnet, with more than 10,000 unique applications and hundreds of thousands of unique users.
The company’s technology is used by some of the most popular applications in the crypto industry, including the largest decentralized crypto exchanges PancakeSwap, SushiSwap, TraderJoe and Uniswap.
Zarik compared the evolution of blockchain technology to the emergence of the Internet, noting that computers also initially existed in fragmented and disconnected data centers without a distributed network system to connect them. “LayerZero is revolutionizing blockchains by creating a unified ecosystem like the Internet that connects every blockchain’s community of developers and users,” he said.