RISC Zero secures $40 million Series A for zero-knowledge virtual machine

Quick Take

  • RISC Zero is building a zero-knowledge Virtual Machine to give developers a simpler way to harness the technology.
  • Blockchain Capital led the $40 million Series A raise.

RISC Zero, a Seattle-based crypto startup, today announced the close of a $40 million Series A round.

The startup wants to put zero-knowledge tech in the hands of developers and infrastructure providers. Its zero-knowledge Virtual Machine (zkVM) gives developers a simpler way to build zk-powered apps. Zero-knowledge proofs are a method, increasingly popular in crypto, by which one party can prove something is true to another without divulging any additional information.

The money will be used to enable RISC Zero to bring Bonsai, its computing platform, to market, as well as to develop it.  

Blockchain Capital takes the lead

San Francisco crypto venture firm Blockchain Capital led the round, with seed round lead Bain Capital Crypto also participating, alongside Galaxy Digital, IOSG, RockawayX, Maven 11, Fenbushi Capital, Delphi Digital, Algaé Ventures, IOBC, Tribute Labs’ Zero Dao, Figment Capital and Alchemy Ventures.


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“Imagine a world where data privacy, security, and trust are no longer concerns, where software supply chains are transparent and verifiable, and where a new generation of applications can harness the power of zero-knowledge computing to solve some of the most pressing challenges of the digital age,” said Bart Stephens, founder and managing partner at Blockchain Capital, in a statement.  

“This is the promise of zero-knowledge computing and the reason we are investing in RISC Zero.”

Blockchain Capital has been involved in a number of high profile later stage crypto rounds in recent months. It led Worldcoin’s $115 million raise in May and led a $200 million Series C by Matter Labs, creator of zkSync, in November last year.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.


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