LayerZero $135M Round Attracts Heavy Hitters

LayerZero Labs today announced that it raised $135 million in a round co-led by Sequoia Capital, FTX Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz and with participation from Coinbase Ventures, PayPal Ventures, Tiger Global, and Uniswap Labs. This funding round values LayerZero Labs at $1 billion and will accelerate the development of cross-chain dApps powered by LayerZero, a decentralized omnichain interoperability protocol.

“This round is a massive step forward for LayerZero Labs and the unfolding interoperability landscape. We’ve brought some of the best and most well-respected entities in the world together to accomplish the same goal: create the generic messaging layer that underpins all interoperability between blockchains,” said Bryan Pellegrino, CEO and co-founder.

The explosion of the crypto ecosystem over the last several years has resulted in a greater demand to build high-throughput applications, like gaming, NFT marketplaces and media apps, on cost-effective blockchains. Yet the infrastructure to support this cross-chain world has fallen short, resulting in users, data and liquidity fragmented across applications deployed on different chains. LayerZero solves this problem by providing an omnichain interoperability protocol that unites dApps across disparate blockchains.

“LayerZero unlocks a future of blockchains without borders. Users will interact with omnichain dApps that exist on multiple blockchains. These dApps will seamlessly communicate over LayerZero without the user even realizing it,” said Ryan Zarick, CTO and co-founder.

Following the beta launch of LayerZero, the company launched Stargate, a cross-chain liquidity transfer protocol built on its generic messaging. Stargate solves the Bridging Trilemma and enables cross-chain liquidity transfer in native assets, with unified liquidity and instant guarantee of finality.

The team believes Stargate will be integral to any application that wants to move cryptocurrency across blockchains. In just 10 days post-launch, Stargate has surpassed $3.4 billion in assets secured and has sent more than $264 million in transfers over the system. Building off this momentum, the team will focus on integrating their protocol with Non-EVM blockchains (Solana, Terra, etc.) while building a community of cross-chain DeFi protocols and dApps powered by LayerZero & Stargate.

In addition to Pellegrino, Zarick (CTO) and fellow co-founder Caleb Banister (principal engineer) previously founded startups together and co-published academic research with Noam Brown and Facebook AI Research.

“By unlocking cross-chain composability, LayerZero is enabling developers to build decentralized applications that simply weren’t possible before,” said Ali Yahya, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “Bryan, Ryan, Caleb and the whole 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.”

“Composability is a defining characteristic in blockchain technology, which LayerZero enables,” said Ramnik Arora, Investor, FTX Ventures. “LayerZero allows smart contracts on one chain to seamlessly and securely leverage the network of another chain, increasing the value of the entire blockchain ecosystem. The team is a rare combination of vision and technical execution, and we at FTX are honored to support them this past year.”

The team believes that dApps built on their technology will abstract blockchains from their applications, and instead harness the power of multiple blockchains in their dApps, building world-class crypto user experiences. They are also excited about the new use cases created with LayerZero. DeFi will have trading, borrowing, and lending applications across multiple blockchains, creating more efficient markets. Games and media dApps will have their high-throughput transactions on one blockchain, while having the ability to transfer, buy and sell NFTs onto other blockchains with the most liquid markets.

“LayerZero Labs is solving one of the most important and highest value problems in crypto,” said Shaun Maguire, partner at Sequoia. “The early success of Stargate shows the potential for a new ecosystem to be developed on top of LayerZero, and we look forward to helping the team grow and nurture this community.”

“We had conviction in a cross-chain future, but the technology to enable it was insufficient—until we met LayerZero,” said Michelle Bailhe, partner at Sequoia. “Since first meeting Bryan on Twitter, we’ve been blown away by the team’s creativity, technical excellence and grit to solve interoperability for crypto.”

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