Cryptography startup StarkWare just closed a $30 million equity funding round led by Paradigm and featuring a number of other major investors, according to an announcement Monday.
StarkWare, the company that developed the zk-STARKS privacy feature, is now working to commercialize the tech, according to a blog post on the funding round. Zk-starks operate by compressing large amounts of data into small proofs (starks) and using zero-knowledge proofs to keep the information private.
StarkWare wants to allow public blockchain networks to add similar privacy to their own protocols. And indeed, co-founder Eli Ben-Sasson previously told CoinDesk that there was “plenty of interest” in the technology.
Privacy-focused cryptocurrency zcash already offers a similar zero-knowledge proof system to its users.
In Monday’s blog post, StarkWare noted that Intel Capital, Sequoia, Atomico, DCVC, Wing, ConsenSys, Coinbase Ventures, Multicoin Capital, Collaborative Fund, Scalar Capital and Semantic Ventures backed the startup for the first time, with Pantera, Floodgate and Naval Ravikant adding to previous investments.
As part of the funding round, Paradigm co-founder Matt Huang will join StarkWare’s board of directors.
The post also noted that StarkWare’s equity round is the first funding project led by Paradigm.
The post added:
“We’ve assembled a world-class team of experts in zero-knowledge proof systems and engineering, to solve two of the main challenges in the blockchain space: privacy and scalability.”