- Ava Labs Inc., a leading developer of the Avalanche blockchain, is in the process of raising a new round of funding, according to people familiar with the discussions.
- Its new valuation would make it one of the highest valued cryptocurrency startups in the world.
Ava Labs Inc., founded and led by Cornell University professor Emin Gan Sirer, is raising $350 million at a valuation of $5.25 billion, according to people familir with the matter. This information has been forwaded in anonymity since it has not been made public.
Avalanche is trying to compete with the likes of Ethereum and Solana by offering high speeds and low transaction fees for applications ranging from trading and lending to gaming. It is gaining popularity among users and developers, now even more following the Avalanche Summit in Barcelona in March.
According to tracker DappRadar, Avalanche has nearly 250 active apps, many of them related to decentralized finance or games. According to CoinMarketCap.com, the corresponding AVAX token has a market capitalization of $21.5 billion, and its price is up about 19 percent in the last month.
Ava Labs is raising money even as cryptocurrency markets remain volatile and Bitcoin has fallen significantly from its November record high amid concerns about Fed tightening, inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Last year, Polychain Capital and Three Arrows Capital led a $230 million round in the public blockchain ecosystem
Avalanche through token sales that benefited the Avalanche Foundation. In 2020, Ava Labs raised $12 million for the project through private token sales conducted by Bitmain, Galaxy Digital and others.
Founded in 2018, Ava Labs also raised a $6 million round in 2019 from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain. The company has 170 employees, according to PitchBook. Ava Labs representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Avalanche is an open-source platform for running decentralized applications and deploying public and private blockchains in a single, scalable ecosystem.
Avalanche consists of a Primary Network and an unlimited number of Subnets.
The Primary Network, in turn, includes three blockchains:
- Platform Chain (P-Chain) stores metadata, is responsible for coordinating validators, and tracks subnets;
- Contract Chain (C-Chain) allows the creation of Ethereum-compatible smart contracts;
- Exchange Chain (X-Chain) provides tools for exchanging data between subnets, as well as creating interchangeable tokens and NFTs.
Avalanche subnets are similar to the L2 solutions for Ethereum and the parachains in Polkadot, but with fully isolated blockchain states.
Any Avalanche user can create a subnet. To do so, a fee of 0.01 AVAX must be paid.
All Avalanche nodes must necessarily verify transactions on the main network, and optionally on other subnets.
Creators of subnets can include different parameters – run multiple blockchains and set their own validator requirements like mandatory KYC/AML passing.