Omnichain interoperability protocol startup LayerZero Labs Inc. has raised $135 million in new funding to accelerate the development of cross-chain decentralized applications.
Sequoia Capital, FTX Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz led the Series A round, with Coinbase Ventures, PayPal Ventures, Tiger Global and Uniswap Labs also participating. The round was raised at a valuation of $1 billion, giving LayerZero unicorn status for the first time.
Founded in 2021, LayerZero offers an omnichain interoperability protocol platform designed to connect different blockchains by passing messages between the chains. The service provides authentic and guaranteed message delivery with configurable trustlessness.
LayerZero is seeking to address the issues where the explosion of the crypto ecosystem over the last several years has resulted in disparate blockchains that can’t communicate with each other. The infrastructure to support multiple chains is argued to have fallen short, resulting in users, data and liquidity fragmented across applications deployed on different chains.
As noted when the company raised funding in September, current solutions work either by providing centralized solutions using hub-and-spoke models, such as Polkadot, or by running on-chain light nodes such as Cosmos IDC. The former loses security and the latter can become expensive on Ethereum.
LayerZero solves the problem by providing an omnichain interoperability protocol that unites dApps across disparate blockchains. It does so using a set of gas-efficient, non-upgradable smart contracts. Gas in this case refers to the cost necessary to perform a transaction on the network.
“LayerZero unlocks a future of blockchains without borders. Users will interact with omnichain dApps that exist on multiple blockchains,” Ryan Zarick, chief technology officer and co-founder of LayerZero Labs, said in a statement. “These dApps will seamlessly communicate over LayerZero without the user even realizing it.”
After successfully launching LayerZero into beta, the company recently launched Stargate, a cross-chain liquidity transfer protocol built on LayerZero’s generic messaging. Stargate solves the Bridging Trilemma and enables cross-chain liquidity transfer in native assets, with unified liquidity and instant guarantee of finality.
Ten days after launching, Stargate has surpassed $3.4B in assets secured and Stargate users have sent over $264M in transfers over LayerZero.
Including the new funding, LayerZero Labs has raised $116.4 million to date, according to Crunchbase.