Smooth Labs, a blockchain infrastructure startup, raised $2 million in a seed funding round.
NGC Ventures, one of the most active crypto investment firms, led the round, Smooth said. Other investors included Cogitent Ventures, ArkStream Capital and Ian Balina's Token Metrics.
Smooth began raising for the round in November when FTX collapsed and closed it in January, co-founder Wiger Wei told The Block. He declined to comment on the structure of the round, i.e., whether it was an equity, token, or equity-plus-token-warrants round, and on valuation.
Smooth Labs was founded in July in Singapore by Wei, a former early researcher at Celestia, and Lucie Chen, a former founding partner at crypto investment firm LCC Ventures. Smooth is building blockchain infrastructure focused on the parallel execution of transactions. Parallel execution allows transactions to be processed simultaneously, significantly increasing transaction speeds and reduce wait times.
"Smooth is a high-performance module that enhances the transactions per second or TPS of Layer 2 networks and application-specific blockchains or appchains by up to five times," Wei said. While the concept of parallel transactions is not new, Smooth is the "first" project to leverage the concept for Layer 2s and Appchains, he said. Smooth is also compatible with Ethereum virtual machine.
Zi Chen, partner at NGC, said the Smooth team predicted in 2021 that Ethereum Layer 2 networks wouldn't be sufficient to resolve the blockchain's scalability issues and had already proposed a general parallel transaction middleware idea and continued to refine it throughout 2022. "The team behind Smooth are some of the youngest and most innovative entrepreneurs we've ever met," said Chen.
The Smooth network is currently under development. It will launch a testnet in the third quarter, said Wei. Smooth is looking to expanding its team of 12 members by hiring in the engineering and business development functions, according to Wei.
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