Today we are thrilled to announce that Aztec Network has raised $17 million in Series A financing to bring programmable privacy to Web3.
The round was led by Paradigm with support from existing partners a_capital, Ethereal Ventures, and Libertus Capital, and participation from Variant Fund, Nascent, IMToken, Scalar Capital, Defi Alliance, IOSG Ventures, and ZK Validator, along with leading angels including Anthony Sassano, Stani Kulechov, Bankless, Defi Dad, Mariano Conti, and Vitalik Buterin.
“Privacy is a fundamental right. Aztec’s rollup, powered by their pioneering academic research on Plonk, is solving for high privacy while also allowing access to Ethereum’s DeFi. We’re incredibly pleased to partner with them and help advance this work.”
– Georgios Konstantopoulos, Research Partner and Chief Technology Officer, Paradigm
At Aztec we believe decentralization is premised on individual rights. Without widely accessible privacy, we compromise our ability to choose how we live our lives and earn our livelihoods.
That’s why we’re building Aztec Network to deliver privacy without compromise:
- Private. Aztec is the only zero-knowledge rollup built with a privacy-first architecture from the ground up, allowing users to access their favorite apps on Layer 1 completely privately.
- Accessible. Proving Aztec transaction validity through zero-knowledge proofs on Ethereum reduces transaction costs by up to 100x.
- Compliant. Our programmably private system supports opt-in auditability and compliance while fully preserving confidentiality.
“When we started Aztec, the technology to scale blockchains privately didn’t exist. Since then, we’ve assembled a team of world-class cryptographers who continuously redefine the state-of-the-art.
Inventing PLONK — the paradigm-defining universal zk-SNARK — showcases our ability to produce technology that matches our ambitions: unlocking an entire universe of blockchain applications that couldn’t exist without privacy.”
– Zac Williamson, CEO and Cofounder, Aztec
Our first product was zk.money, a private transfer protocol built on Aztec. Since launch, zk.money has had over 20,000 registered users, 50,000 transactions, and $35 million in total deposits, all while being 96% cheaper than existing private transfer protocols.
We are now excited to announce Aztec Connect, the first private bridge for Ethereum’s decentralized finance ecosystem. It allows users to confidentially access world-class DeFi services on Ethereum with up to 100x cost savings, all while strengthening Aztec’s existing privacy guarantees.
At launch, Aztec Connect extends the capabilities of zk.money, adding functionality from blue-chip DeFi partners. Soon thereafter, the Connect SDK will allow any Ethereum project to permissionlessly integrate Aztec, unlocking instant privacy and cost-savings.
“We are excited to bring Element’s fixed rates to L2 by integrating with Aztec’s zk-rollup technology. Users will benefit from the same privacy they have come to expect from zk.money with the option to earn fixed rates on their shielded balances, all while saving up to 80–90% in gas fees over L1.”
– Jonny Rhea, CTO and Cofounder, Element Finance
Aztec Connect accomplishes the above while maintaining two significant advantages over other scaling solutions:
- No redeployment of core contracts. Developers write a simple 50–100 line interface connecting Aztec Network Layer 1 smart contracts.
- Preservation of Layer 1 liquidity. Users interact directly with Layer 1 liquidity, reducing fragmentation and liquidity leakage to Layer 2.
“Privacy needs an active financial market to be useful. Aztec Connect was designed with this in mind — its goal is to deliver value to users of existing DeFi protocols by adding iron-clad privacy guarantees and reducing transaction costs.”
– Joe Andrews, Head of Product and Cofounder, Aztec
Proceeds from the Series A will be used for network decentralization, Aztec Connect Grants, and continued development of our class-leading zero knowledge proving systems.
We are grateful for the community of users and developers supporting Aztec’s mission to build the programmable privacy layer for Ethereum and Web3.
We are always looking for talented and passionate contributors to Aztec. If you’re interested in joining our mission, browse our full time roles here.
About Aztec Network
Aztec Network is the first private ZK-rollup on Ethereum, enabling decentralized applications to access privacy and scale. Aztec’s rollup is secured by its industry-standard PLONK proving mechanism used by the leading zero-knowledge scaling projects.
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A full media kit can be found here.