Israel’s StarkWare announced Tuesday via Twitter that it has raised $50 million in Series C funding, and that the company is now $2 billion. Sequoia Capital was the lead investor among other shareholders. Seven months ago, StarkWare raised $75 million in Series B funding led by Paradigm.
The news precedes the launch of StarkNet Alpha 2, an update to Zero-Knowledge Rollup, or zk-Rollup, on the Ethereum mainnet, which is currently scheduled for distribution in late November. The company said that StarkNet Alpha plans to support the permitted distribution of smart contracts and open the scaling technology to anyone who wants to use it.
StarkWare is one of the tier 2 scaling protocols for Ethereum that has been increasing in use recently despite the rising gas prices. The StarkEx L2 scalability engine allowed partners such as the dYdX trading platform to send trades across the chain to zk-Rollups. This reduces trading fees by reducing the amount of gas. The DYdX exchange recently released the control token DYDX, and for the most active users, the drop exceeded $100,000.
There are two main types of aggregation technology: zk and optimistic aggregation. While Optimistic Rollups assumes that transactions are valid by default and only performs computations, ZK-Rollups does not generate any cognitive evidence to verify transactions and continuously sends that evidence to the Ethereum core network. With zk backlog, block verification and money transfer are faster and cheaper because less data is involved.
Starkware L2 competitor Polygon has launched a zk-STARK-based Miden VM for developing decentralized applications, also known as DApps.