Scroll, an Ethereum scaling project that uses zk-rollup technology, has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round as it plans to launch a testnet.
Sharing the news exclusively with The Block on Thursday, Scroll said Polychain Capital led the funding, with Bain Capital Crypto, Robot Ventures, Geometry DAO and others participating.
Several angel investors, including the Ethereum Foundation's Ying Tong and Carlos Aria, and members of the Ethereum community, including Anthony Sassal, Ryan Adams and Santiago Santos, also joined the round.
Scroll co-founder Sandy Peng declined to comment on whether the funding was raised via an equity round or a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) sale.
With fresh capital in hand, Scroll plans to increase its team size and launch a testnet.
The current headcount of Scroll is 20 and the project is looking to hire several people across different functions, including engineering and operations, said Peng. She said the testnet is scheduled to launch in the second half of this year.
Scroll was founded early last year by Peng, Ye Zhang and Haichen Shen. It aims to scale Ethereum using zk-rollups, a Layer 2 technology that bundles Ethereum transactions off the main chain to support a larger number of transactions at a lower cost.
StarkWare and Matter Labs can be seen as Scroll's closest competitors — both use the zk-rollup scaling technique.
When asked what Scroll's unique advantage over StarkWare is, Peng said, "we are building a zkEVM solution as opposed to StarkWare's zkVM."
"That means developers in the Scroll ecosystem will enjoy an 'EVM [Ethereum Virtual Machine] equivalent' experience; any dapp that runs on zk Layer 1 can be deployed on Scroll," she said.
As for Matter Labs’ zkSync network, it also has EVM compatibility like Scroll, but Scroll is more developer-friendly, according to Peng.
She said, with Scroll, Solidity developers can copy a smart contract byte code from Ethereum and deploy it on Scroll without making any changes to it. “We are EVM equivalent or native EVM by the Ethereum Foundation’s definition,” she said.
Specific details of Scroll’s technology will be announced in the next few months, said Peng.
The Series A round brings Scroll's total funding to date to around $33 million. The project has previously raised about $3 million from angel investors, Peng said.
Scroll's fundraising is the latest for an Ethereum scaling project amid continuing investor interest in the crypto sector. Last month, Optimism, an Ethereum scaling project that uses a different technique known as optimistic rollups, raised $150 million in Series B funding at a $1.65 billion valuation.
Immutable, an Ethereum scaling project focused on NFTs, also raised $200 million in Series C funding at a $2.5 billion valuation last month. In February, Ethereum scaling project Polygon raised $450 million in a token sale, and in November, Matter Labs raised $50 million in a Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
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