Peter Thiel's Founders Fund backs Ethereum scaling network Layer N

Quick Take

  • Layer N has raised $5 million in a seed round co-led by Founders Fund and dao5.
  • Layer N is building a Layer 2 network specifically designed to scale financial applications on Ethereum.

Layer N, a new Ethereum scaling network, has raised funds in a seed round co-led by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and investment collective dao5. Other investors in the round included Kraken Ventures, Mirana Ventures, GSR and Amber Group.

The size of the seed round was $5 million, Layer N co-founder Dima Romanov told The Block, adding that Founders Fund contributed $1.8 million of the total amount. The investment comes after Founders Fund hired Joey Krug, former co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, as a partner in April.

Layer N was previously building a scaling network for Solana but abandoned the blockchain after crypto exchange FTX collapsed last November. At the time, Layer N said FTX Ventures, Solana Ventures, Solana Foundation, and Solana Labs co-founders Anatoly Yakovenko and Raj Gokal were investors in Layer N. Romanov now says, "we never ended up taking any money/ signing anything," and that the round was called off after the collapse of FTX.

"After FTX, we spent some time thinking and thought that for our product, it makes the most sense to build on Ethereum. But we still have a great relationship with the Solana team and projects," Romanov added.

When asked if Layer N is planning to launch its own native token, Romanov said there is no concrete plan for that yet.

What is Layer N?

Layer N is an Ethereum Layer 2 network that aims to help create an on-chain rival to the Nasdaq. It is specifically designed to scale financial applications on Ethereum. "We spent two years building, talking to users, engaging institutional firms, and experienced first-hand the many challenges that protocols faced. We designed a novel Layer 2 to address those challenges and eliminate friction in performance and user experience, streamline institutional onboarding, and allow protocols to focus on what's most important to them, building a great product," Romanov said.

Layer N plans to deploy a public testnet "in the coming weeks." It will then release Nord, a specialized exchange rollup, offering "10-100x better throughput than existing scaling solutions, and sub-millisecond latency."

Layer N said Nord's on-chain infrastructure is comparable to existing centralized exchanges from a performance and user experience perspective. Node will allow decentralized exchanges to launch their own rollups to enable Binance/ Coinbase-like performance, Romanov said, adding that "no other product compares to that (latency and throughput wise)."

"Every rollup in Layer N ecosystem will be connected by a shared messaging layer; meaning that every rollup will be able to move liquidity and data between other Layer N rollups effortlessly and instantly," he noted.

The project added that it has already secured major liquidity partners and is beginning its process of talking with early-stage developers to grow its ecosystem ahead of its public release.

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