Andreessen Horowitz Leads $25M Round in Ethereum Scaling Solution

The titan of Silicon Valley VC is leading a major round in Optimism.

Feb 24, 2021 at 9:18 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC

Ethereum scaling solution Optimism will launch its mainnet this coming month after announcing a major investment from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) that closed in November.

"We've spent a great deal of time looking at various approaches and teams building Layer 2s, and today we're thrilled to announce we are leading a $25 million Series A investment in Optimism," a16z's Chris Dixon and Arianna Simpson wrote Wednesday. "Optimism's exceptional team, carefully designed developer experience, major scaling benefits, years of research and testing, and full composability made it the obvious choice."

Optimism is among a small cohort of firms looking to boost Ethereum's famously choked throughput. The startup was initially planning on rolling out a testnet in March, although decentralized finance (DeFi) exchange Synthetix already began on-boarding the tech stack in January.

"As a result of being able to hire this kind of talent, we will be launching arbitrary contract deployment on mainnet in March instead of public testnet," Optimism said in blog post Wednesday. The startup added seven new members to the team as well, including talent from Coinbase, Handshake and Casa.

Earlier today, DeFi venue dYdX announced it was building on StarkWare's ZK-Rollups, a competing solution for boosting the number of transactions a blockchain can handle.

Optimism did not return a request for comment by press time.

Update (Feb. 24, 23:45 UTC): Adds information on Optimism's mainnet launch and the purpose of the funding round.

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