Web3 messaging protocol creator LayerZero Labs has raised a $120 million Series B round at a valuation of $3 billion, tripling its valuation from the $135 million round in March 2022.
Investors in the latest round, included the crypto arm of noted investment firm Andreessen Horowitz, auction house Christie’s, Sequoia Capital and Samsung Next. The round had 33 total backers, including BOND, Circle Ventures and Open Sea Ventures.
The capital will go toward growth initiatives, including hiring and expanding the company’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
The funding round is a rare nine-figure deal during a crypto bear market that has seen investments in the industry slow to a glacial pace, though infrastructure-focused projects have proven the most resilient.
New York-based LayerZero offers interoperability and cross-chain messaging infrastructure that allow decentralized application (dapp) developers to reach multiple blockchains without the need for a middleman to facilitate the cross-chain interactions.
“LayerZero is to blockchains what the internet was to computing clusters. LayerZero allows chains not only to build bridges (to transfer assets / value between them) but send and execute arbitrary data just like a packet on the internet,” Bryan Pellegrino, co-founder CEO LayerZero Labs, said in an email to CoinDesk. “What this means is that you can now build applications that are orders of magnitude more complex than existing applications and do so with a completely seamless experience between chains.”
LayerZero emerged from stealth in Sep. 2021 with a $6 million funding round. The protocol has since facilitated over two million messages relayed across more than 30 chains and has secured over $7 billion in total value locked (TVL), according to the company. LayerZero is utilized by a number of on-chain applications, including decentralized exchanges PancakeSwap, Sushiswap, TraderJoe and Uniswap.
“I think for us more than the money it really was just about aligning ourselves with an amazing group of partners, we had very specific goals for who we wanted to include with this fundraise and what our goals were, and we accomplished everything we were looking for,” said Pellegrino.