RISC Zero raises $12 million to build a blockchain using zero-knowledge proofs

Quick Take

  • Zero-knowledge proof startup RISC Zero announced it has raised $12 million in a seed round to build a developer-friendly scalable blockchain. 
  • This is RISC Zero’s second round after having raised $2 million in a pre-seed round in March of this year. 

Crypto startup RISC Zero has raised a $12 million seed round led by Bain Capital Crypto to build a scalable blockchain using zero-knowledge proof technology.

Investment firm Geometry remains a follow-on investor, according to a release on Tuesday. Others involved in the round include D1 Ventures and Cota Capital, as well as angel investors like Jinglan Wang, co-founder and CEO of Ethereum scaling solution Optimism, and Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at crypto asset manager Coinshares. 

RISC Zero’s area of expertise is zero-knowledge proofs, an authentication method that enables information to be verified without revealing its contents. 

In March of this year, RISC Zero launched a zero-knowledge proof virtual machine, its first open-source product leveraging the authentication approach. The virtual machine enables developers to build zero-knowledge proofs that can be executed on any modern computer using a variety of programming languages, according to RISC Zero's website. 

Now the startup is taking this a step further with plans to build a scalable blockchain using zero-knowledge proof technology and its virtual machine, per today's release. 

Developers with familiarity of programming languages like Rust, Go or C++ will be able to write decentralized applications on the blockchain, which look and feel more like traditional web applications, the release said. The RISC Zero team hopes this will unlock web3 to a larger percentage of the global developer community. 

Developers will get a sneak peek of the network in the third quarter of this year. 

This is RISC Zero’s second round. It raised $2 million in pre-seed round led by Geometry Research and Ramez Naam Ventures, per the release. The pre-seed took place in March, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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