Auradine, a tech startup co-founded by a serial entrepreneur with a track record of building billion-dollar companies, raised a sizable $81 million in its initial funding round for the development of "next-generation web infrastructure."
Celesta Capital and Mayfield co-led the Series A round, with Sriram Viswanathan, founding managing partner of Celesta, and Navin Chaddha, managing director of Mayfield, joining the Auradine board. Other investors included Marathon Digital Holdings, Cota Capital, DCVC, and Stanford University, Auradine announced Tuesday.
Auradine skipped the seed-stage of the typical fundraising cycle, its co-founder and CEO, Rajiv Khemani told The Block in an interview. The Series A round was a mix of equity ($71 million) and a line of credit ($10 million), Khemani said, adding that no token element was involved.
The $81 million is a significant sum, exceeding the typical Series A round, but Khemani said that given the uncertainty in the economy, Auradine chose to raise extra money to ensure it is fully funded and can execute product plans. He said the Auradine team's track record helped grab the mega funding round despite challenging market conditions.
Auradine was founded early last year and closed the Series A round before the FTX exchange collapsed, according to Khemani.
Auradine declined to comment on the valuation with the funding, but a source with direct knowledge of the matter told The Block that the startup is now valued at more than $500 million.
Behind Auradine: A serial entrepreneur and former Palo Alto Networks executives
Auradine is a Silicon Valley, California-based startup co-founded by three tech veterans — Khemani, a serial entrepreneur who previously built and worked at startups and sold them for billions of dollars; Barun Kar, an employee number 10 of Palo Alto Networks who spent over 15 years at the cybersecurity giant that is listed on Nasdaq and has a market capitalization of over $58 billion; and Patrick Xu, who also spent nearly 12 years at Palo Alto — before co-founding Auradine with Khemani and Kar.
Auradine is Khemani's fourth tech startup in the infrastructure space. His first startup, NetBoost, was acquired by Intel for $$225 million in 1999, Khemani said. His second startup, Cavium, where he was chief operating officer, was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Marvell for $6 billion in 2018. His third startup Innovium was also acquired by Marvell for more than 1.2 billion in 2021.
He now aims to replicate that success with Auradine. "Our goal is to build an enduring and iconic company in the infrastructure space for the next-generation web," he said. New technologies, including blockchain, AI and privacy, are poised to make a "multi-trillion-dollar impact on the global economy," Khemani added.
To that end, Auradine is building software, hardware and cloud solutions "to enable a highly scalable, sustainable and secure infrastructure."
Auradine will initially focus its products around top Layer 1 blockchain networks focused on improving their performance and security, Khemani said, without giving specific details at this stage. Its first products are expected to launch during the summertime.
There are currently around 40 people working for Auradine and Khemani is hiring for several roles.
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