Neon Labs Raises $40M to Bring EVM Functionality to Solana

The Ethereum-compatible environment could lead to implementations of popular DeFi protocols on the blockchain.

Nov 9, 2021 at 10:31 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 9, 2021 at 2:48 p.m. UTC

Although the Ethereum and Solana blockchains are often pitted as rivals, investors have just piled tens of millions of dollars into a project aiming to bring Ethereum’s computation engine to Solana.

On Tuesday, Neon Labs announced a $40 million fundraising round that was led by Jump Capital and that included IDEO CoLab Ventures, Solana Capital, Three Arrows Capital and others.

Neon Labs raised the funds with a token sale, and the proceeds “will be used to rapidly scale the Neon Labs team in categories spanning research, core development, marketing and business development,” as well as on a grants program, according to a Neon Labs press release

Neon Labs is the developer of Neon, a software environment on Solana that lets developers build applications using the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM). With that technology, developers can write smart contracts in familiar coding languages such as Solidity and Vyper, use tools like wallet interface MetaMask and easily deploy forks of existing protocols like Aave – all while benefiting from Solana’s ability to process transactions quickly and from its lower fees.

The project is aiming to launch its mainnet this month, and it is now live on Solana testnet and devnets, according to Neon’s website.

Projects porting the EVM to blockchains using alternative computation have proven to be popular among venture capital investors.

In October, Aurora – a project aiming to allow EVM computation on the Near blockchain – raised $12 million.

DISCLOSURE

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Andrew Thurman is a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.