Boba Network, an Ethereum Layer 2 scaling project that utilizes optimistic rollups, has raised $45 million in Series A funding at a $1.5 billion valuation.
Investors included Crypto.com, Huobi, BitMart, Kinetic Capital, Infinite Capital, Hack VC, Will Smith-led Dreamers VC and M13 Ventures (founded by Paris Hilton's husband, Carter Reum). There was no lead investor for the round.
This was Boba's first funding round and realized via a token sale, the project's founder Alan Chiu told The Block. Chiu declined to share the terms of the token sale, but it appears that investors bought the BOBA token at a higher price than its current market price of around $1.50. BOBA's current fully diluted valuation stands lower at about $740 million.
Chiu said the round was closed in the fourth quarter of 2021 "when market conditions were more bullish." BOBA's all-time high price was at around $8 in November.
With fresh capital in hand, Boba plans to scale its team and bring more developers to its platform, said Chiu. The current headcount of Boba is over 30 people and Chiu plans to double the team by the end of this year. As for growing the developer ecosystem, he intends to provide grants, launch an accelerator program and spend more on marketing.
Boba Network was launched in September by Enya, a core contributor of OMG Foundation. The network is built on Optimism, but its computational layer is different, said Chiu. It has a proprietary Hybrid Compute platform that addresses Ethereum's computational limitations, according to Chiu.
"We built Boba to address the computational limitations of Ethereum. Everyone else was focused on making Ethereum faster and cheaper, which of course, is necessary, but there's an additional dimension of scalability that's been neglected — computational complexity," said Chiu.
Boba's current total value locked (TVL) is over $170 million, according to tracker L2Beat. Its rival Metis's TVL stands far higher at around $530 million.