The funding round, which values the company at $1 billion, was co-led by Sequoia, FTX Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz
LayerZero Labs 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, Uniswap Labs, and more. This funding round values LayerZero Labs at $1 billion and will accelerate the development of cross-chain decentralized applications (dApps) powered by LayerZero, a decentralized omnichain interoperability protocol.
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“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, LayerZero Labs.
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, LayerZero Labs.
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Following the beta launch of LayerZero, the LayerZero Labs team recently launched Stargate, a cross-chain liquidity transfer protocol built on LayerZero’s generic messaging. Stargate solves a holy grail problem called 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 $3.4B in assets secured, and Stargate has sent over $264M in transfers over LayerZero. Building off this momentum, LayerZero Labs will focus on integrating the LayerZero 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, LayerZero Labs’ co-founders Ryan Zarick (CTO) and Caleb Banister (Principal Engineer) are world-class engineers with deep technical expertise. The trio has 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 LayerZero 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.”
The team has quickly earned the respect of the crypto community, including 0xMaki, the legendary co-founder of Sushiswap, who recently joined LayerZero Labs. 0xMaki will focus on integrating partners onto LayerZero and Stargate.
“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.”
This milestone brings LayerZero Labs one step closer to its vision of making crypto more accessible to end users, accelerating the exponential adoption of digital assets. The team believes that dApps built on LayerZero will abstract blockchains from their applications, and instead harness the power of multiple blockchains in their dApps, building world-class crypto user experiences.
The team is 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. This stacked team is just getting started.”
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