Matter Labs, the company developing Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution zkSync, has raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Matter Labs Closes $50 Million Raise
zkSync developer Matter Labs has secured an additional $50 million in its second funding round.
The Series B funding round was led by renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz with participation from existing investors, including Dragonfly, Placeholder, and 1kx. Additional strategic investors included Blockchain.com, Crypto.com, Consensys, ByBit, OKex, Alchemy, Covalent, and others.
According to the Monday announcement by Matter Labs, the company will use the newly raised funds to expand its scientific and engineering teams and finance its business growth. In the press release discussing the raise, COO of Matter Labs Zoé Gadsden said:
“Until recently, we have been focused nearly exclusively on technological innovation. Now it’s time to put a similarly concerted effort into reaching users and developers, which will require scaling our business development and marketing efforts and building out our community and ecosystem.”
Matter Labs was the first company to launch a public ZK Rollup prototype in 2019 and a pioneer of Zero-Knowledge Proof technology on Ethereum. The company is currently developing an Ethereum scaling and privacy engine called zkSync, built on a ZK Rollup architecture. ZK Rollup is a Layer 2 scaling solution that holds all the funds in a smart contract on the Etheruem mainchain while performing all the computation and storage off-chain.
The difference between zero-knowledge-based rollups and Optimistic rollups, like the ones currently deployed on Ethereum by Arbitrum and Optimism, is that the former run computation off-chain and submit validity proofs to the mainchain, while the latter assume transactions are valid by default and only run computation, via fraud-proofs, in the event of a dispute.
In simpler terms, scaling solutions based on ZK rollups are faster and less vulnerable to specific economic attacks but are also (in most cases) limited only to simple transactions. On the other hand, Optimistic rollups have slower transaction settlement finality but can execute smart contract transactions.
Expounding on the zkSync scaling technology, professor of Computer Science at Stanford Dan Boneh said:
“zkSync will enable Ethereum transactions at a much higher rate and lower gas fees than mainnet. The math used by Matter Labs is really quite beautiful, and it is remarkable to see this coming to fruition at a massive scale so soon.”
By adopting the ZK Rollup architecture, zkSync is able to fully inherit Ethereum’s baselayer security without relying on trusted validators, bridges, or watchers. Instead, it relies solely on pure cryptography.
Additionally, Matter Labs is currently working on a zkSync v2 which will support EVM-compatible, composable smart contracts. The long-term goal, according to Matter Labs CEO and co-founder Alex Gluchowski, is to make “self-sovereign participation in the digital economy—that is, maintaining true control over one’s digital assets—affordable for anyone in the world.”