Alan Howard-Backed Cryptography Investor Geometry Emerges From Stealth

Tom Walton-Pocock, the former CEO of zero-knowledge proofs shop Aztec, is heading up Geometry.

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:17 p.m. UTC
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Geometry, a research and investment firm focused on zero-knowledge privacy technology and backed by hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard, has emerged from stealth mode.

The firm, which has been running for six months and has already made a handful of seed investments in the $2 million-$4 million range, is helmed by former Aztec CEO Tom Walton-Pocock. The senior team includes Celo cryptography lead Kobi Gurkan and Gregoire Le Jeune, the former head of growth at Oiler Network, according to a press release.

Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) technology allows two parties on the internet, such as an app and a user, to verify information with each other without sharing the underlying data related to that information. ZKPs have been used to create privacy-centric cryptocurrencies in the early days of crypto, and later became an integral component when it comes to scaling blockchains such as Ethereum.

“Last summer we started thinking about producing a research laboratory with a focus on cryptography,” said Walton-Pocock in an interview. “When we got a call from Alan Howard this presented us with an opportunity to get Geometry going far quicker than we previously imagined.”

So far Geometry has led a $4 million seed investment round in Ingonyama, a zero-knowledge semiconductor company based in Israel, and also led the $2 million seed financing round of Soap Labs, the company bringing cross-venue liquidity to the non-fungible token (NFT) market.

The firm has also participated in blockchain interoperability firm Socket, the seed round of Risc0, the general-purpose zkVM powered by STARKs, and formed a strategic arrangement with Matchbox DAO, a new Web3-native gaming incubator to use Geometry’s cryptographic libraries.

Geometry’s “composite combination” of research and investing was incubated by Alan Howard’s WebN Group, Walton-Pocock said, adding that “the opportunities for zero-knowledge extend into every aspect of Web3.”

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Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.


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