Offchain Labs, An Enterprise Blockchain Startup Spun Out Of Princeton, Raises $3.7 Million

By Annie Baker ● April 12, 2019

New Jersey-based Offchain Labs, an enterprise blockchain startup that spun out of Princeton University, announced it has raised $3.7 million in a seed round of funding led by Pantera Capital. Compound VC, Raphael Ouzan of Blocknation, Stone Bridge Ventures managing director Jake Seid, and other unnamed investors also participated in this round.

Offchain Labs is solving two of the biggest issues limiting blockchain adoption including the lack of scalability and privacy. And Offchain Labs is planning to create more scalable smart contracts while shifting part of the process off of the public blockchain to increase privacy.

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The Offchain Labs — which includes Ed Felten, Steven Goldfeder, and Harry Kalodner — launched a protocol called Arbitrum. Arbitrum essentially helps developers easily scale smart contracts.

“We’re working to build a platform for smart contract development that provides what we think developers want, a combination of scalability so that you can scale to more transactions per second, more users, and to contracts that have more code and still have more data in them,” said Felten via TechCrunch.

Plus Offchain Labs is making it easier to offer controls over who can see what is happening in a contract. This way you can publish everything about your contracts, code, and everything it does on a public chain in order to get work done.

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And Offchain Labs’ platform offers “Any Trust Guarantee,” meaning that you specify a set of validators when you launch or deploy your contract. And when at least one validator is acting honestly, the contract will execute correctly.

Felten is also a computer science professor at Princeton University and previously served as the Deputy CTO to the White House under President Obama.

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With this funding round, Offchain Labs is planning to complete a beta version of Arbitrum. The beta version should be arriving soon. And Arbitrum is going to be open source so that blockchain developers can make contributions to its growth.

“At Pantera, one of the biggest problems we see in the blockchain industry is that dApps face scalability challenges. The team behind Offchain Labs has developed a novel solution to this issue with Arbitrum, and we’re enthusiastic about this platform’s potential to help dApps really take off. The unique properties of Arbitrum allow it to serve as a great Layer 2 scalability solution,” added Pantera Capital co-chief investment officer Joey Krug in a statement to Finance Magnates.