Manta Network, a privacy-preserving decentralized finance stack built on Polkadot, has announced the conclusion of a $5.5 million financing round.
The capital injection, led by Coinfund and Parafi Capital, featured new investors including CMS Holdings, Longhash Ventures, Divergence, Spartan Group, Global Coin Ventures, Zee Prime, SNZ, and SkyVision Capital.
It also saw participation from angel investors, namely 0xMaki, Maple Leaf, Bitcoin.com, Kevin Hu, Santiago R Santos, Polygon, Cream, Alpha, Perp, DoDo, Subquery, Bitcountry, Consensys, and Impossible Finance.
The privacy-oriented decentralized exchange revealed that key members from Parity and the Web3 Foundation, as well as Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group Inc., bankrolled the recent financing round.
Manta Network has created an automated market maker (AMM)-style decentralized exchange on Polkadot that features fully private swaps. Further, the company continues to build out its commercial capabilities to deliver plug-and-play privacy functionality to a multitude of blockchain use cases and projects.
With fresh capital in hand, the startup plans to sharpen its strategic focus to bolster privacy in the DeFi ecosystem, eliminate gas fees, and offer faster transactions. All of those features would translate into a better user experience in the cryptocurrency space.
A parachain in the Polkadot ecosystem, Manta implements a cryptographic technique called ZkSNARKs as a layer-1 blockchain solution. By obfuscating wallet addresses, its first product MantaSwap enables the parties involved in a blockchain transaction to verify relevant data with each other without sharing the underlying details related to it. The sender, receiver and exchange amount are entirely obscured and no longer appear on public block explorers.
Commenting on the news, Kenny Li, core contributor to Manta Network, said
“We’re excited and proud to be joined by the most reputable thought leaders, investors, and angels in the space on our mission to privatize all crypto assets. Together, we recognize the importance of privacy in Web3, which is required to scale DeFi use cases.”
Austin Barack, Principal at CoinFund, added in a joint press release:
“Manta Network is building one of the core primitives for privacy preservation within DeFi. Building upon Substrate, which allows for purpose-built layer 1 networks, Manta can build ZKSnark privacy-preserving architecture directly into the base layer and solve a number of existing problems users face today such as front running and lack of privacy when making transfers or managing a portfolio. Leveraging relay chain interoperability, Manta will also be able to provide users across all Polkadot parachains with these services. We are thrilled to support this incredible team as they build much needed DeFi tooling,”
Prior to the recent funding, Manta Network raised a $1.1 million seed round in February, which was led by Polychain Capital and included investments from Hypersphere Ventures, Three Arrows Capital, Defiance Capital, Multicoin Capital, Alameda Research, BTC12 Capital, to name a few.
Manta’s practical approach to building as a Polkadot parachain enables them to tackle the critical issues regarding privacy on the blockchain, ultimately offering cheaper and completely confidential transactions. The project’s underlying logic is to mint private coins/tokens with stable coins at a value ratio of 1:1.
First theorized in 2020 by industry veterans, Manta Network delivered the first version of its testnet in Q1 2021. The future roadmap includes participating in the Polkadot parachain auctions to launch its mainnet before the end of the fourth quarter. Like other projects, the protocol waits for the upcoming rollout of Polkadot-based parachain auctions to grab its spot.
The initial auctions approved by Polkadot’s on-chain governance will begin next month and end in March 2022.