Taiko raises $22 million across two rounds for its ‘Type 1 zkEVM’

Quick Take

  • Taiko Labs raised two rounds led by Sequoia China and Generative Ventures, respectively.
  • The startup is building a Type 1 zkEVM, a solution touted by Vitalik Buterin as necessary for scaling the Ethereum blockchain.

Taiko Labs, a crypto startup focused on scaling the Ethereum blockchain, raised $22 million across two rounds.

The first was a $10 million seed raise led by Sequoia China that closed in the third quarter of 2022, and the second was a recent $12 million pre-Series A round led by Generative Ventures, co-founder Daniel Wang said in an interview.

Other investors in the two rounds included IOSG Ventures, GSR and GGV Capital, and angel investors such as POAP founder Patricio Worthalter, Tim Beiko of the Ethereum Foundation and Anthony Sassano. Taiko did not disclose a valuation.

Taiko is building a scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain — one it’s crafting to emulate Ethereum as closely as possible in design and ideology, according to an announcement. It describes its product as a Type 1 zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine. Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin previously wrote in a blog post that Type 1 zkEVMs are “what we ultimately need make the Ethereum layer 1 itself more scalable.”

“Our design decisions are to stick to the EVM spec and indeed the Ethereum spec as closely as possible, one because we love Ethereum and we want to extend it… and also because we find it affords the best properties,” said Matthew Finestone, a Taiko Labs co-founder.

The company released the latest version of its testnet earlier this week, which it hailed as “the next step on the road to a decentralized, Ethereum-equivalent ZK-EVM.”

From Loopring to Taiko

Wang and Finestone previously worked together at Loopring Foundation, a trading and payment protocol built on zk-rollup technology. Wang was its founder and CEO from July 2017 until November 2021, while Finestone spent three years with the project as its head of business.

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