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LayerZero Raises $135M to Tackle Interoperability in Crypto


Key Takeaways

LayerZero Labs has raised $135 million, giving it a $1 billion valuation.
The raise was led by Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, and FTX Ventures.
The LayerZero team is attempting to build a solution to blockchain’s interoperability problem.

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LayerZero Labs has raised $135 million in a funding round at a $1 billion valuation. Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and FTX Ventures led the raise. 

Nine Figures for Interoperability

It appears that prominent backers are betting on a cross-chain, interoperable future of the blockchain world. 

Led by some of the most prominent venture capitalists in the world, LayerZero Labs has reached a $1 billion valuation with its most recent $135 million raise. The funds will be used to push forward LayerZero Labs’ value proposition of improving the usability of decentralized applications across different blockchains. 

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The chief executive officer of LayerZero Labs, Bryan Pellegrino, said: 

“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.”

LayerZero utilizes so-called Ultra Light Nodes to allow for decentralized applications to connect across blockchains. Developers can use LayerZero’s protocol to make their decentralized applications cross-chain compatible, referred to by the protocol’s team as “omnichain.” 

In addition to the leaders of the raise, Coinbase Ventures, PayPal Ventures, Tiger Global, UniSwap Labs, and others took part in the nine-figure raise. 

In a Sequoia Capital article on today’s fundraise announcement, Michelle Bailhe and Shaun Maguire told the story of their firm’s early interest in LayerZero that planted the seeds that grew into the partnership announced today. They called the problem of interoperability that LayerZero was tackling one of the crypto space’s “holy grail problems.” Bailhe and Maguire provided an analogy to blockchain’s interoperability issues—explaining that it would be similar to if the Uber or DoorDash application could only be integrated with others also using iOS or Android, so even if an available Uber driver was right by a user who requested a ride, they would not be matched if they had different cell phones. 

0xMaki, who co-founded the decentralized exchange SushiSwap, joined LayerZero Labs recently.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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